Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Fat Kid Rules the World

Actor Matthew Lillard (The Descendants, Trouble With the Curve) succeeds with his first directing effort, Fat Kid Rules the World.

Made for $750,000 and with an advertising budget of slightly over $150,000 derived from the Internet site Kickstarter, Fat Kid Rules the World is the quintessential independently produced movie, a project that took over 10 years to bring to the screen. The young actors in this coming-of-age story are unknowns, smartly anchored by veteran Billy Campbell (The Killing, The Rocketeer) and backed with an original score by Pearl Jam’s lead guitarist Mike McCready.

The story, taken from a novel by KL Going, concerns high school student Troy Billing (Jacob Wysocki), who has doubled in size since his mother’s death a few years prior.  Living with his former Marine father, who now works in security, and his younger, more sportive brother Dayle (Dylan Arnold), Troy has become a self-created outcast.


At opening, Troy attempts to walk in front of a bus, only to be saved by an expelled stoner named Marcus Macrae (Matt O’Leary). Marcus is a homeless punk rocker, who befriends Troy for the money and food he is able to mooch off of him.  He manipulates the inept young man into learning to become the drummer for a new band he is creating, since his former band members have kicked him out of the group.

Troy goes along with the scam because Marcus is the key to a community of outsiders, including the attractive Isabel (Lili Simmons).

Winner of the Audience Award at this year’s South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival, the film is only flawed by trying to fit in too much of the book.  Or, perhaps, it was just my own cringe factor resulting from a few too many visits to the refrigerator, which is the first thing Troy does every time he enters his home.

 Fat Kid Rules the World opens in New York this weekend and Los Angeles the week after.  I hope 
it gets around more of the Country.  Anyone who feels like a misfit or outsider, their parents and 
those who enjoy good movies will be delighted with this one.


I give it a 4 out of 5.


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