A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this movie is not for those with weak stomachs -- it has lots of theatrical (though mercifully camouflaged) vomiting and dares to eat disgusting food combinations. Male characters anchor the action while two appealing girl actors are reduced to decorative sidekicks. A grandma, dad, and son make up the main family unit, and a multicultural group of friends sticks together.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Featuring a cast plucked en masse from various Disney Channel properties, THE ADVENTURES OF FOOD BOY plays to its built-in following. Ezra (Lucas Grabeel) is a geek who sees running for junior class president both as a route to popularity and as an accomplishment that will get him into an Ivy League college. His plans are thrown for a loop when he learns he's inherited the family superpower: the ability to make food appear in his hands. His newfound gift threatens to derail his life plan, and Ezra must make a choice about whether to embrace his unique ability or lose it forever.
Is it any good?
The premise of the movie is top-notch. So many students feel alienated from their peers at some point during their high school experience that food-spewing hands don't seem a far-fetched embodiment of that emotion. And many high schoolers can relate to an older relative telling them to embrace their uniqueness, without acknowledging that what makes them unique may also make them unpopular. Ezra's struggles to control and appreciate his gift, to negotiate the social aspects of high school, and to cope with college admissions pressure are all meaningful.
Where the movie falls short is in ambition. If someone has the ability to create food at will in a world where there is hunger (as shown when Ezra is forced to work in a soup kitchen), should his highest goal be to entertain friends and classmates with wacky food tricks and food fights? It's disappointing that the movie steers clear of any discussion of the real promise of his gift, aside from a quick history lesson on his ancestors. Perhaps the blame should fall on his similarly talented grandmother, whose only goal is to write a cookbook.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the pressure Ezra feels to do things in order to pad his college resume, rather than because he wants to. How important do you think it is to get into the "right" college? Ezra's "super" skills are decidedly practical when compared to flying or disappearing -- what other kind of useful superheroes can you imagine?
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