Sundance Review: Rocket Science
by Alex Billington
January 29, 2007
One of the more talked about films of the festival, Rocket Science, is a coming-of-age high school comedy-drama about Hal Hefner (Reece Thompson), a stuttering adolescent who joins the debate team in pursuit of a girl - Ginny Ryerson (Anna Kendrick), the debate team's best debater. The film is a simple love story, per se, built on the morals and seen through the eyes of this stuttering, young high schooler. It's filled with witty high school humor that can easily fit into the mainstream cinematic world and will certainly be embraced by current generations. Often hilarious, including one scene of first-time-drunk belligerence, the film is very well directed and superbly acted by a handful of first-time actors.
Rocket Science has a very mainstream calling but is not as unique of a style or experience, though I know its success is guaranteed - every last person can remember an experience like this in their own high school years, or even just the adolescent mindless pursuit of love. The film seems to follow a standard fall-in-love and get-your-revenge strategy more than deviate to a newer, original path. Although effective, it's still the same structure that's been around forever and if used incorrectly becomes very tiring. Fortunately Rocket Science was not at all tiring and is a consistently comedic and wonderful film that won't be soon forgotten. The opinion from many here at the fest about Rocket Science has been great, so look forward to catching this once it gets released in theaters.
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