"I came gift wrapped from Heaven"
Bubble Boy
Review by Ross Anthony

Jimmy, born with no immunities, grows up in a plastic bubble; but like Forrest Gump, blissfully adapts to his limitations. Despite his ultra-conservative-nazi-nutcase-religious mom, "Now you're safe from that evil filthy world!"; vinyl-sealed Jimmy remains chipper and content throughout a quick zip-locked childhood. But when sexy neighbor Cloey moves in next door, Jimmy fields many new urges; the grandest of which sets him on a one man (in a bubble) cross-country mission to win the woman of his dreams.

From opening credits to Jimmy's first steps outside of his home, "Bubble Boy" rocks. Boldly going where no bubble boy movie dared to go in the past, bouncing taboo topics back and forth like Ping-Pong balls, the film clearly had the audience in the palm of its hand. We were laughing hysterically. Not since, "South Park: The Movie" have I seen an audience so engaged in uncontrollable laughter.

However, after such a giddy, fast-paced first act, the film loses air at about the time Jimmy bounces into a moving cargo train. Descending into a silly road-farce, the film squanders its preciousness from Las Vegas to New York. Fortunately, the climax, though quite predictable, still is fun to watch.

Plastic hygienically seals our happy main character from offensive germs; however, this film promises no such immunity from offending jokes. Forbidden topics from sex to freak show humor and especially religion provide plenty of fuel for ribbing in this silly picture.

With references to the 1970's Saturday Morning TV show "Land of the Lost," "Bubble Boy" feels like a script that's waited decades for production. If only the ball could have kept its first act momentum, this might have been one of the better comedy's of the year. Unfortunately, this bubble bursts before midpoint deflating its well-earned high marks nearly to a "B" grade.

  • Bubble Boy. Copyright © 2001. Rated PG-13.
  • Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Marley Shelton, Swoosie Kurtz, Danny Trejo, Dave Sheridan, John Carroll Lynch, Brian Gattas, Arden Myrin and Geoffrey Arend.
  • Directed by Blair Hayes.
  • Written by Ken Daurio, Michael Kalesniko and Cinco Paul.
  • Produced by Beau Flynn at Touchstone/Disney.


Copyright © 2001. Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit: RossAnthony.com

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:19:43 PDT