I wasn’t sure what to expect with this movie. Would it be one of those sad comedies where the main character is a superstar, but only in his head? Or maybe it would be one of those John Hughes-like socially awkward flicks where the kids seem to exist without parents and the only adults who appear are caricatures? Or would it be something entirely different.
While it does have a slight John Hughes film feel in parts I was happy to find it didn’t really follow the formula. Fat Kid Rules the World is about Troy (Jacob Wysocki), a loner kid who like the title says is fat. The first thing I like about this movie is that his weight is not the punchline. Nor is it the subject of ridicule, it’s just a description. The focus is more on Troy’s emotional eating, which he uses to mask the hurt and pain he’s holding in. Once again it’s not show for you to laugh at, if anything you empathize with him because you understand why he’s doing it.
One day Troy decides to end it all by throwing himself in front of a bus, only to be saved by Marcus (Matt O’Leary), a scruffy looking homeless kid. After Troy manages to get away from Marcus he assumes he will never see him again, only to find out the next day that Marcus goes to his school. Marcus asks Troy to be in a drummer his new punk band and really won’t take no for an answer. Troy reluctantly agrees, which starts both of them on a friendship path that will change both of them.
The absolute best thing about this movie is it’s depth. What starts out as slightly stereotypical characters become multilayered, their motivations and fears come through and they are given plausible changes. Nothing annoys me more than a sudden character change, especially improvement, with no real reason for it to happen. Troy isn’t as quiet and complacent as he tries to be, Marcus may appear to just be a drugged out user, but it’s deeper than that. My favorite character is actually Troy’s father, Mr. Billings (Billy Campbell). At the beginning I frankly thought he was a jerk and hoped that he wouldn’t get much screen time. But over the course of the movie you find his motivation, struggles and realize he’s not the jerk you once thought.
If there was anything bad about this movie is that I wished it to be a little longer and I wished there had been a bit more depth to Marcus’ parents. Oh yeah , there are a few gross parts that I could’ve lived without. However with a great story, good acting, and good music, it’s definitely worth a look.