Parents' Guide to

The Fat Boy Chronicles

By Renee Schonfeld, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Earnest but flawed teen film about obesity and bullying.

Movie NR 2010 78 minutes
The Fat Boy Chronicles Poster Image

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Kids say (1 ):

What works in this film is Jimmy. As portrayed by the likable Christian Rivera, the character's dilemma is poignant. Young audiences can't help but empathize with him and, in doing so, take his situation to heart. Their compassion for the underdog and willingness to stand up for kids like Jimmy may be enhanced. However, not certain that the teen's story would stand on its own, or believing that the drama would be heightened by the inclusion of multiple other elements, the filmmakers added much more: teen cutting, parental alcoholism, an unsolved murder, a suicide, a boy's disappearance, and a football player's lack of confidence. All are underdeveloped concepts, relegated to a few scenes or portions of scenes and minimal, if any, resolution. The worst of these is a ludicrous subplot that finds Jimmy and his friend using Jimmy's sister as bait to catch the murderer. It's all scatter-shot, trivialized, badly conceived, and poorly executed. The writers and director could have used a surer hand and more professional help to bring this story, based on a book and "inspired by a true story," to life.

Movie Details

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