MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +2 1/2

Content: -1/2

Angus (Charlie Talbert) is a large kid, some call him fat. Although he's fairly good at football and smart in science, Angus wants to be popular and handsome like Rick (James Van der Beck) so Melissa (Anna Thomson), Rick's cheerleader girlfriend, will notice him. The shy, insecure boy has a hard time talking to girls. His single mom (Kathy Bates), a truck driver, is gone much of the time, and his grandpa (George C. Scott) encourages him to be himself and ignore the others, because his time would come. As a prank, Rick gets Angus named "King" of the winter dance, and Melissa is "Queen." Meanwhile, Angus is invited to interview for admittance to the science magnet school on the day of the dance. Then his beloved Grandpa dies. In a very moving scene, Angus tells his grandpa's chess partner about the death without saying a word. Will Angus make the dance, and will he get the courage to dance with Melissa? Or will Rick ruin him with a prank? Young teens will enjoy this story about problems in their age group.

This film treats realistically two major concerns of the young teens - accepting yourself and being accepted by others. Angus stands out because he is large and gets good grades, but he'd rather be popular. In contrast, Rick is the handsome, popular school quarterback who looks down on those, like Angus and his nerdy friend Toby (Chris Owen), who aren't equally attractive and become targets of Rick's mean-spirited pranks. Angus and Toby show true friendship even when calling each other names. Toby has an adolescent fascination with sex, but Angus tells him that there's more to a girl than just her body. Angus has a good relationship with his mother and grandfather, quick to apologize any time he shows disrespect. According to information furnished by the filmmakers, Angus' truck driver mother is a lesbian, but there is no mention or hint of her sexual orientation in the movie. She comes across as a caring, hard-working single mom who is very supportive of her son. Crude and obscene language, plus two regular profanities, however, mar this otherwise wholesome film.

Preview Reviewer: Paul Bicking
NewLine Cinema, 888 7th Ave., 20th Flr, NY, NY 10106

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (21) times - Mild 12, Moderate 9

Obscene Language: Many (19) times - F-word 1, s-word 3, other 15

Profanity: Few (3) times - Regular (GD) 2, Exclamatory 1

Violence: Several times - Mild and Moderate (child punches child, pushing, boy stuffed in locker, hit with fist)

Sex: None

Nudity: None, but near nudity shown in video of girl in thong leotard

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Doll referred to as 'anatomically correct,' adolescent reference to sex, crude scratching

Drugs: None

Other: Strong family values; importance of seeing beyond physical appearances

Running Time:
Intended Audience: Young teens, adults

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