Friday, October 7, 2016

Kevin Pollack directs his first -- and pretty funny -- narrative film, THE LATE BLOOMER

An actor TrustMovies has enjoyed quite regularly down the decades, Kevin Pollack (a fellow with 126 IMDB acting credits to his name), has now directed his first narrative movie -- not surprisingly a comedy, given this guy's background -- and it is one that, while sometimes crass, is always pretty funny, too. Titled THE LATE BLOOMER, it details the story, said to be "almost" true, of a young man who, due to an un-diagnosed medical problem, has never experienced puberty and therefore no sex nor even sexual desire.

Based on the memoir by Ken Baker, originally published back in 2001, and screen-written by some five different scribes, Mr. Pollack's movie (the director is shown at right) has such an unusual, grab-you-by-the-throat story to tell that it very nearly works via its odd tale alone. It's that bizarre-but-believable. Well, it ought to be, as the medical condition explained here actually happened to Mr. Baker, as it has to others. It may be rare, but it is also there. And it must be dealt with.

While I have not read Baker's memoir, from what I've heard about it, the book is quite moving as it brings the reader into the feelings of this man-boy so utterly inexperienced in much that we consider vital in life.

The movie, not exactly unexpectedly, plays all of this for laughs. To its credit, it gets quite a lot of them, too. Star Johnny Simmons, above, with his sweet face and goofy-but-sexy quality, seems a very good choice for the lead role. He's believable and funny as a grown guy only just discovering what most of us found years ago. If he doesn't wrench your heartstrings, too, that simply does not seem to be required here.

Supporting Simmons are a bevy of good performers who fill their roles just fine but are, with a couple of exceptions, not required to do much more. These include Maria Bello and J.K. Simmons (shown above, left and right), as our boy's parents, and Brittany Snow (below) as the pretty (and very literal) girl-next-door.

Jane Lynch (below) portrays Simmon's mentor, while Kumail Nanjiani and Beck Bennett (two photos below, shown respectively at right and left) play his two best, though not very bright, friends,

with Paul Wesley (shown at left in photo at bottom) as the other, and not very nice, man in his would-be girlfriend's life.

While the movie concentrates most of its humor and events on things sexual, which are generally funny if sometimes a little too crassly perceived, when it takes off into other area of adolescent trauma -- everything from acne to vocal changes to tantrums towards one's parents (the latter is maybe the film's funniest scene, in which Mr. Simmons excels) -- it proves even more on-the-mark.

At times, and at its most enjoyable, The Late Bloomer almost seems like a more "real" version of one of those popular body-jumping fantasy movies like Freaky Friday, Big  or 13 Going on 30 -- in which our hero or heroine suddenly inhabits the body of someone of a very different age.

If the film skirts over feelings to land more laughs, well, that's what movies tend to do, right? And at least this one manages to garner an awful lot of those laughs. From Momentum Pictures and running around 90 minutes, The Late Bloomer opens tomorrow, Friday, October 7, in "select" theaters (for instance, twice daily at NYC's Cinema Village and at Laemmle's Music Hall 3 in L.A.) while simultaneously making its debut on VOD and digital HD.

No comments: