Sponsored by Marin Magazine
Directed by Matthew Lillard
Starring: Jacob Wysocki, Matt O'Leary, Billy Campbell, Lili Simmons, Dylan Arnold
FOCUS: ROCK’N’SOUL/ACTORS TURNED DIRECTORS • Ironic title alert: Awkward teen Troy Billings (Terri star Jacob Wysocki) rules nothing, except perhaps the World of Warcraft–esque video game he plugs into nightly. The real world, in a word, sucks. Troy’s active fantasy life can’t disguise the fact that he doesn’t have any friends or that his ex-Marine father (Billy Campbell) is a disapproving control freak. Determined to end it all, Troy steps in front of a bus—and an unlikely savior appears. Marcus (Matt O’Leary), a sometime musician and full-time pill-popper, convinces the reluctant Troy to join his new band, sparking a surprising friendship between ne’er-do-well and ne’er-do-anything-cool. Based on KL Going’s best-selling young adult novel, which used Kurt Cobain as inspiration, Fat Kid Rules the World marks the directorial debut of actor Matthew Lillard (The Descendants, MVFF 2011), once a frequent player in high-school comedies himself. There’s not a twinge of She’s All That in this darkly funny, well-acted character study, which eschews prom-night dilemmas in favor of far thornier life lessons.
Film Note Writer: Cheryl Eddy