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Review: Rocket Science

High School is an awkward time for most. It is a time in which new adolescents transition to adulthood and prepare for the “real” world. Some people take this time very seriously; some too seriously; others not seriously enough. Others still are far too busy dealing with more serious issues to even think about High School or what lies ahead. This is the case for Hal Hefner (Reece Thompson) in Rocket Science.

Hal Hefner has a stuttering problem. He can’t even order a slice of pizza let alone talk to anyone long enough to make any friends. He is a joke among his peers; an outcast. He is “that guy that stutters.” All that changes, however, when Ginny Ryerson (Anna Kendrick), the snobbishly mature brunette knockout approaches Hal about joining the debate team and becoming her protégé. Her last partner was a debate legend who flaked in the final debate of the state championships. She seeks to rectify her missed opportunity.

Ginny empowers Hal. He cannot understand her motives, so her words have to be true. He is smart, he just can’t get his mouth to cooperate with his mind. Ginny gives him the courage to face this challenge, despite the laughter of his peers. With her by his side, he can conquer anything. It all seems too good to be true.

Rocket Science is a movie about High School that stays true to its subject. There are no easy answers in High School and you will find none in this film. There are no miracles; no deus ex machinas, these are real kids with real problems. In the end, it turns out they’re the same problems we all face. In the end, Rocket Science is a movie about a kid trying to find his place in the world; a kid just trying to make sense of it all.

It shouldn’t be Rocket Science.

– 214 arbitrary stars