Where has this movie been? It's over ten years old and I'm just getting to it now. Angus Bethune (Charlie Talbert) is an overweight teenager with a crush on Melissa Lefevre (Ariana Richards), a pretty cheerleader at his school. Since he was in grade school he has been bullied by Rick Sandford (James Van Der Beek) the good looking kid that can do no wrong in the eyes of pretty much everyone. And if things couldn't be worse, Melissa is Rick's girlfriend.
This inspirational movie with lots of great lines and lessons is narrated by Angus who we quickly follow from grade school to present day as he copes with his weight by being tuff instead of walked over by his peers. He breaks Rick's nose numerous times in an attempt to stand up for himself but Rick keeps getting prettier and Angus becomes more and more frustrated. I not supporting violence as a measure of handling our problems but Angus doesn't let his weight get in the way of the things he wants to do like play football and get into a specialized Science school. By the end of the film he resolves his violent tendencies as a way of coping with confrontation.
Rick's current punishment involves getting Angus voted King of the Winter Ball in an attempt at embarrassing Angus. Angus knows this, but he also sees it as an opportunity to dance with Melissa who is of course the Queen. Now if only he could get a black tux that will fit him and learn to dance.
The talented Kathy Bates has a small role as Meg Bethune, Angus's supportive and loving mother, who had her own kind of torments to live through as a child. Her greatest fear is that Angus will be as scarred as she feels. George C. Scott is his intelligent and wise Grandpa Ivan. He's "the big kid down the hall" getting married to a beautiful and much younger woman despite what everyone around him says about it. His motto? "Screw 'em!"
Angus and his grandfather have a funny nattering relationship that is hilarious. Angus could come across as disrespectful of his grandfather but its part of their relationship and if you look deeper it's obvious they love one another. He receives lots of advice from his grandpa on girls and life although he doesn't necessarily take it immediately into account. When Angus is concerned about being normal he rallies with "I'm big, I'm normal." When Angus threatens to break more noses he counters with "You can't go around beating everyone up 'cause they don't like you. Use what you have in here (points to head)".
Even though this film is over ten years old its message is still relevant to plus size teenagers and adults today. Don't give up and don't hide away. There are a lot of embarrassing moments Angus has to live through and the viewer can't help but feel for him and maybe even relate. It's a fun film with a great message for living life and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It even has a lively soundtrack with artists such as Goo Goo Dolls and Green Day. I highly recommend seeing it at least once. Check your local video store or watch for it on your local specialty network.
Purchase Angus from Amazon.com.
Purchase Angus from Amazon.ca.