Reviewed by: Maggie Hays
|Featuring:||Luke Benward (“Because of Winn-Dixie”), Ryan Malgarini, Ty Panitz, Philip Bolden, Nick Krause, Kimberly Williams, Hallie Kate Eisenberg|
|Director:||Bob Dolman(“The Banger Sisters”)|
|Producer:||Brian Grazer, Mark Johnson, Ron Howard|
|Distributor:||New Line Cinema|
“New Town. New Friends. New Menu.”
From the producers of “Narnia” comes a delightful film the whole family can see and discuss. Based on Thomas Rockwell’s beloved book (over three million copies sold), Rockwell is the son of famous artist Norman Rockwell. Poor Billy (Luke Benward—“Because of Winn Dixie”) is the new kid at school who tries to fit in by accepting a bet with the school bully. Billy must eat 10 worms in one day or pay the humiliating consequences. What follows is often hilarious, and I laughed out loud many times.
The movie deals with bullying, but also shows how to be a good friend like Erica (Hallie Kate Eisenberg—“Paulie”). Instead of appearing to be a likeable buffoon as is often portrayed in film, the father (Tom Cavenaugh—“Ed”) is perceptive and kind.
Just a word of caution: if your child tends to mimic things he sees on film, you may want to be proactive and talk to him about eating worms before taking him to see this movie. I can see some kids eating worms afterward, or daring other kids to do so. Also, after the movie there is a disclaimer that no worms were harmed in the making of the film, but they do show worms being fried, microwaved, smashed, and blended. Some younger children may not understand the ramifications of microwaving live animals.
There are many “teachable moments” in this movie: how to not make wild claims about things you may not be able to back up when challenged, how to speak kindly to others, how to understand a bully, and how to treat live animals humanely. Even though this film will appeal to kids, I can’t think of an adult who wouldn’t enjoy it as well.
Violence: None / Profanity: None / Sex/Nudity: None