The only explanation for me liking this movie is that we’ve been quarantined and the movie theatres are closed. It has so many things wrong with it, yet I was still on board. I’m guessing that’s because when kids have mental illness, I feel bad for them. That’s probably why I loved The Perks of Being a Wallflower (although it wouldn’t explain why I didn’t like It’s Kind of a Funny Story). Because at the end of the day, you still need enough going on in the story that works. This has a couple that has chemistry. Romantic scenes that seem romantic. And their ace in the whole — Andy Garcia as a caring priest.
I’m sure the Julia Walton novel this is based on, is one of those YA books that usually make over $100 million at the box office. Thor Freudenthal gave us a movie that would have easily done well in theatres.
Charlie Plummer, who was so great in Lean on Pete (and acted with Christopher Plummer in All The Money In The World, although they’re not related), plays Adam. He is showing signs of schizophrenia, which has him seeing and hearing things. My first eye roll came when thinking about how signs of schizophrenia don’t usually manifest until the early 20s. But when we see the cast of characters that show up in his visions, it’s rather amusing, and you’re willing to give it a pass. They’re like the angry cousins of the characters in Inside Out. The folks in his head consist of a tough, gang member with a baseball bat at the ready, sometimes chompin’ a cigar. There’s a good-looking lothario who sports an open bathrobe more than Charlie Rose or Harvey Weinstein. And there’s a woman who is a New Age hippie who always wants to look at the bright side of things. Seeing that character made me wonder why it is when we hear of a schizophrenic killing someone because they heard a voice in their head tell them to — why is it that schizophrenics never hear a voice in their head that tells them to mow their neighbors yard, or leave someone a boutique of flowers? It always seems to be that baseball bat dude that takes over. But I digress.
The more realistic version of schizophrenia is shown, too as a black mist bellows into the room, with a voice whispering things in Adam’s head. It makes him angry and feeling worthless. It seemed like a more realistic and less cutesy way, to show this mental illness.
An incident in a science lab gets Adam expelled. Lucky for him, his new school has Maya (Taylor Russell of Waves and Escape Room). She’s smart, cute, and seems to like him.
Molly Parker (Deadwood), who starred with Russell in Lost in Space, is his caring mom who’s trying her best, but it’s tough when she gets a boyfriend. He’s played by terrific actor Walton