A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Bruno and Boots: Go Jump in the Pool is a family-oriented comedy set at a Canadian boys' boarding school where privileged kids deal with a losing swim team and no pool to practice in. This is the first of several Canadian TV movies made from one of a series of young adult books by Gordon Korman, a popular Canadian author. Mild flirtations are shown with girls from a neighboring boarding school. Violence is limited to kids getting pushed into swimming pools and cupcake fights. A winning swimmer from another school calls the protagonists "losers."
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What's the story?
Bruno (Jonny Gray) loves Macdonald Hall, the boarding school where he's a high school student. He loves to scheme and concoct pranks to make school more fun, which has not gone unnoticed by the school administration. His best friend, Boots (Callan Potter), is the school's best swimmer, but he and the team have no pool to practice in and lose year after year to rival school, York. BRUNO AND BOOTS: GO JUMP IN THE POOL is based on a popular series of books by Canadian young adult author Gordon Korman, and it portrays a fairly polite existence in the halls of privileged private education. Bruno decides to raise $150,000 to build the school a pool, partly by selling donated items and partly by selling school property, which gets him in trouble, yet again, with headmaster Sturgeon (Peter Keleghan), a man of high standards and remarkable forbearance. Bruno's schemes can be unscrupulous, as when he puts up a blockade and charges drivers a toll on a public road, but it's all seemingly for a good cause. Ultimately, Bruno bets the $75,000 he's raised for the pool on a swim meet, hoping to make up the rest of the needed funds. Smart students from the girls' boarding school across the road support the boys from Macdonald Hall and provide some mild flirtations.
Is it any good?
Those who love the books that this movie derives from may be more forgiving of the overacting and predictable plotting of this forgettable comedy than the rest of humanity. The closing credits roll over outtakes showing the cast having far more fun making Bruno and Boots: Go Jump in the Pool than anyone is going to have watching it. The bloopers show a cast thoroughly enjoying a guffaw-filled camaraderie entirely absent in the movie itself.
That said, Peter Keleghan plays the quirky headmaster with some comic flair. Jonny Gray as Bruno would not be out of place on the Disney Channel, acting away with neither subtlety nor finesse. But given that there are no language or sexual references that would shock any 8-year-olds, it may be that a young audience, less likely to be finicky, will appreciate the energy and determination of Bruno and his friends.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how much Bruno seems to love his school in Bruno and Boots: Go Jump in the Pool. Do you love your school? Do you think Bruno likes his school because he seems to have so much freedom there?
Have you read the books upon which this movie is based? How does the movie compare?
Some parents depicted here seem to care more about what they consider success for their son than his happiness. How do you think parents can best show support for their kids?
Would you want to go to boarding school? Why or why not?
For kids who love school stories
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