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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Tim Timmerman, Hope of America is a cute (if predictable) homage to teen comedies of the '80s and '90s like Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Tim (Eddie Perino) is a charming, manipulative high school student from a small Utah town who's determined to get into Yale despite lacking the grades. He'll do anything to get there, no matter the cost -- even if it means losing those closest to him. There's a prank involving a dead deer, some pot use/references, inappropriate flirty behavior between an adult and a student, and mild swearing like "crap" and "damn." There are a few stereotypes and few real consequences for poor behavior, though Tim eventually does learn humility. Kids might like the high school humor, and parents might like reliving the '90s in this mostly harmless comedy.
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What's the story?
In TIM TIMMERMAN, HOPE OF AMERICA, it's 1994, and Tim Timmerman (Eddie Perino) is a people-pleasing student body president at the high school in a small Utah town. Tim is determined to go to Yale, even though his grades aren't good enough for the Ivy League. When he realizes his ticket in is through Sydney (Chelsea Maidhof) the daughter of a senator (Laird Macintosh), he must find a way to get both father and daughter to like him.
Is it any good?
This comedy has all the ingredients of a classic teen movie -- charming hero, sweet girl he has to win over, and a good nemesis -- but it doesn't quite deliver. Tim's dream is to go to Yale and be the most successful person in his family, but he doesn't really do anything to make it happen other than tell everyone that it will. In fact, he does everything wrong, including getting busted with pot, hurting his best friend, and lying to Sydney to get to her successful dad. Yet you know that he'll still come out on top. Because there are no real consequences, there's no real emotional impact, which was what made movies like Ferris Bueller so great.
Still, while it's not Ferris, Tim Timmerman, Hope of America has its moments. There are some funny scenes involving a game in which the students have to hunt each other down with a Nerf-like gun, and Bill Clinton serves as a mentor in Tim's dreams. On the other hand, there are a few creepy moments involving a school administrator who hits on Tim and ends up turning on him in the end. Bottom line? Tweens and teens might like this glimpse of what their parents' high school years could have been like in the '90s, and parents will like the music, which includes songs by They Might Be Giants and Mazzy Star.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the messages in Tim Timmerman, Hope of America. What do you think the filmmakers want viewers to take away from watching? How can you tell?
Tim thinks he can talk his way into getting anything he wants. Have you ever tried to talk your way out of a bad situation? What happened?
Talk about the way Tim treats his best friend. Have you ever had a friend take advantage of you?
Are you familiar with the movies that Tim Timmerman pays homage to? What does it have in common with them? How is it different?
- In theaters: March 3, 2017
- On DVD or streaming: June 22, 2017
- Cast: Eddie Perino, Chelsea Maidhof, Stephanie Drapeau
- Director: Cameron Sawyer
- Studio: Purdie Distribution
- Genre: Comedy
- Topics: High school
- Character strengths: Humility
- Run time: 94 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: brief drug content and suggestive material
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