Depressed, obese teen Troy is about to step in front of a bus and end it all when fate enters in the form of Marcus, a free-spirited street musician. Under his samaritan’s nonjudgmental wing, talentless Troy finds acceptance in Marcus’s punk band.
This movie is based on the Printz Honor winning YA novel of the same name by K.L. Going. It is the directorial debut of everyone’s favorite ’90s goofball, Matthew Lillard. These are the kind of important and enticing facts that I know the FYA audience should know up front.
The movie is about “fat kid” Troy, his family and his grifter friend Marcus. A suicidal Troy steps in front of a bus, only to be saved by Marcus. Marcus is a former classmate and a current musician/junkie/homeless teen. He encourages Troy to join a band with him, in the process helping Troy to come out of his shell.
Shout out to my book club buddy Alexis, who has been actively pimping out this movie for some time.
Jacob Wysocki as Troy
If you are a Pitch Perfect super fan like myself, you probably recognize Jacob Wysocki from his approximately 20 seconds of screentime in it. He was also apparently in that ABC Family show I never watched, Huge.
Billy Campbell as Mr. Billings
Billy Campbell, AKA the freaking Rocketeer, plays Troy’s father. He plays what has to be one of the most positive movie Dads I’ve seen in some time. He is a wonderful mix of hardass and softie, who initially tricked me into thinking I wouldn’t like him. But then become my favorite character.
Couch-Sharing Capability: Medium
This isn’t exactly a party film, but it certainly could be enjoyed with a few friends.
Recommended Level of Inebriation: Low
While this movie does have its funny moments and some punk rock spirit, it mostly comes across as serious fare. Besides, watching Marcus will most likely have you espousing the merits of sobriety.
Use of Your Streaming Subscription: The only way you’re ever gonna see this
To me, this is the kind of movie that benefits the most from the existence of Netflix Instant and similar services. It’s the kind of low budget film that most people will never get a chance to see, even if they had known about it and wanted to. But Netflix Instant is able to expose it to the exact people who love this kind of movie, plus some. (It’s shocking to believe, but I guess not everyone actively seeks any and all teen movies like I have been known to do.) So, I was really excited when I saw it pop up this week under “new releases.” I didn’t love this movie, but I liked it and was glad I was able to finally check it out. And I hope some of the FYA readers will end up giving it a chance too.