With Honors

In Movie Reviews, Uncategorized on June 28, 2010 at 1:10 am

Harvard public-policy major Monty Kessler (Brendan Fraser) finds himself in a pinch when his thesis ends up in the hands of Simon Wilder (Joe Pesci), a resourceful vagabond living in the university library’s basement. Sensing a meal ticket, Simon offers to trade pages of the essay for food and lodging. An unlikely bond forms between the pair, and Simon teaches the self-absorbed, overachieving Monty that there’s more to life than book learning.

OK, I am sure Brendan Fraser is a nice guy (by all accounts I have seen), but man is he a bad bad actor!!! This movie could have been ssssooo good. Pesci is spectacular as the bum, and the stellar supporting cast (including a pre-Greys Patrick Dempsey and Moria Kelley) provides a great change of pace from the heavier scenes. But Fraser is completely out of his depth as Monty. Never once did I believe one thing about his character. I had zero compassion for his situation and really did not care. Anyone, and I do mean ANYONE else in the role would have made this a highly recommended movie.

That being said, I will say if you can stomach sitting through Fraser, this movie is worth seeing for Pesci. You want to root for him from the very outset of the film. You get sucked into his story and generally care about the plight of his character. The life lessons he attempts to teach Monty and the rest of the house guests are ones we all need reminded of from time to time. And the ending to the movie will leave almost anyone reaching for the tissues.

This would be a 4 star movie with anyone else in the lead role, but as it is now:

2.5 out of 5 stars.

(available on Netflix instant view as well)


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