Rocket Science

Director: Jeffrey Blitz
Year Released: 2007
Rating: 0.5

A teen (Reece Thompson) with as bad a stutter as bad as I've heard in my life - he can't actually say "I want pizza" - entertains the idea of winning the New Jersey Debating Championship with Tracy Flick-type overachiever (Anna Kendrick). Now, I've seen the movies this cobbles its pieces together from (Election, Rushmore, Napoleon Dynamite, Thumbsucker) but the very attempt to make stuttering 'quirky' is highly offensive and the entire movie is one ugly moment, watching him struggle to express himself in any way. It's implied that the neurotic nature of this young man is due to his Mother (she kicks out the boy's Father and her new boyfriend) while his older brother's anxiety is channeled into thievery, but even his teachers fail to help him (what kind of legitimate speech coach would let this type of student boy on the club and not tell him, "Kid, this just isn't going to work") and his backup plan to win (recruiting a champion debater who quit high school to work at a dry cleaning business) is phenomenally dumb. It's a "Sundance Indie" in every dubious way - it also has the gall to try ending on a metaphysical note about What Life Is All About. I'll tell you what it's about: not wasting time watching lousy movies.