Rocket Science review

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“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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