'Rocket Science': A Charming Narrative

Maui Time | June 11, 2007
Positively winning coming-of-age drama/comedy stacks the deck with newcomer Reece Daniel Thompson as Hal Hefner, a stuttering New Jersey High School student. Thompson plays the part with an innocence and ingenuity akin to a very young Dustin Hoffman. Hal's low self-esteem gets an unexpected boost from debate-team star Ginny Ryerson (Anna Kendrick) who "sees something in Hal that others don't," and encourages him to join her on the school's debate team. But Ginny has ulterior motives that sink Hal's smitten spirit as he attempts to overcome his stuttering problem during timed debates. It's obvious that writer/director Jeffrey Blitz (Spellbound) works well with his actors, but it's his fresh approach to storytelling, and naturalistic sense of humor, that creates a soulful cushion for the charming narrative to unfold.

Rated R, 98 mins. (B+)

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