Rocket Science review

“Deformed people are the best,” reckons gorgeous, articulate Ginny (Anna Kendrick) after signing up stuttering Hal (newcomer Reece Thompson) for the high school debate team. Naturally, Hal falls in love – but can he find words to tell Ginny how he feels and master his stammer before the championships? Writer/director Jeffery Blitz (award-winning doc Spellbound) won’t win prizes for originality, even if his fiction debut is reputedly based on first-hand experience. Yet echoes of coming-of-age quirkers like Thumbsucker, The Squid And The Whale and (especially) Rushmore are swept aside by a dramatic curveball that nails the befuddlement of teen romance and averts the expected triumph-of-the-underdog wrap-up. Backed by a fine cast (including sardonic narrator Alec Baldwin), there’s no argument: Blitz is a confident new voice.

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