Dave's Rating:

2.0

… dopey little feel-goodish …

Who's in It: Julie Walters, Rupert Grint, Laura Linney

The Basics: It's Harold and Maude, minus all that icky sex. The teenage boy befriends the old lady, they rely on each other, she helps him become a man, he stands up to his oppressive mother, he breaks free, the end. Whatever.

What's the Deal? So you're one of the three most successful child stars of the past 10 years. You're Harry Potter's Ron Weasley, and you're getting kind of tired of it. So your agent says, "Hey, kid, here's a script where you get to swear and have sex. And not with Julie Walters!" That's how this movie ended up happening.

Exports Are a Tricky Thing: They make a lot of movies in the United Kingdom. And we see a small fraction of them in the United States, the dopey little feel-goodish ones like this. Old people in mid- to large-sized film markets go see them on Sunday afternoons. You think I'm kidding. Of course, this one's got Ron Weasley, so you might see some Harry Potter–heads lining up. But they'll hate it.

Piper Laurie Is My Co-pilot: The casting of Linney as the religious fanatic mom was a bad move. A worse move was the script's depiction of the religious fanatic mom. She's seriously about two degrees to the left of the homicidal maniac mom in Carrie. Even right-wing Christians will be like, "Hey, man, we're not this nuts."

Just Because It Happened to You Doesn't Make It Interesting: It's a semiautobiographical story from screenwriter-director Jeremy Brock. That's nice, dude. Now we all know you think you have the "soul of a poet."

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