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Short Attention Span Summary (SASS):
1. Harold (Breslin) has a serious problem, or maybe two or three, perhaps even four
2. He's a newbie in a new town, and has to navigate the deadly minefield of High School
3. He suffers from male pattern baldness, and he's just on the brink of his fourteenth birthday
4. He behaves, dresses, walks, talks and gripes like a geezer
5. Everybody from liquor store owners to randy old ladies to strippers think he's an adult.
6. You can see where we're going with this
7. Big-mouthed, big-hearted, sneaky and insubordinate janitor Cromer (Gooding) takes him under his wing, and together they try to clean up Harold's act (or at least plot defense and revenge strategies)
8. Typical h0rny high school comedy storyline (complete with cool kids, bullies and nerds) provides back-up for underlying moral and ethical issues
9. You're not watching this for moral and ethical issues, so watch it for the nerd revenge scenes
10. Reasonably intelligent comedy manages to get laughs without getting overly gross or explicit. (Even with strippers and randy old ladies)
This movie has a simple story line and a cast of easily identifiable actors, but the real draw is Breslin in the title role. I'd recommend it for ages 14 and up.
Rated: 3.5 stars
Amanda Richards, September 24, 2008
Spencer Breslin does a good job playing the sarcastic Harold who eventually learns to live with his affliction. It's hard to believe that this is the same kid who starred in forgettable cinematic dreck like Disney's The Kid, Santa Clause 2 (Widescreen Edition), and Dr. Seuss' The Cat In The Hat (Widescreen Edition). In Harold, Breslin demonstrates an aptitude for comedy, delivering his clever quips with the right amount of weary cynicism and a touch of optimism that makes us root for him to succeed.
Harold answers the question, what do the lesser known Saturday Night Live alumni do in their spare time? Rachel Dratch, Chris Parnell and Colin Quinn have small parts as characters that play a role in Harold's life. This is due in large part to director T. Sean Shannon, who got his start as a writer for Saturday Night Live. Obviously, he cashed in a few favours for this film. Harold has a gentle sense of humour that is refreshing because it is never mean-spirited and doesn't resort to nasty gross-out humour. And that, in this day and age, is becoming increasing rare.
"Red Carpet Premiere" features the cast and crew on the red carpet answering questions about the film.
Also included is a trailer.
"Harold" provides more laughs per minute than any comedy in recent memory.
The premise of Greg Fields' and director T. Sean Shannon's script provides us with a veritable gold mine of sparkling comedy nuggets. 13-year-old Harold has virtually nothing in the world going for him - for not only is he an eternally put-upon, socially awkward nerd, but his early-onset male-pattern-baldness makes people assume he's a middle-age man. This, of course, leads to a great deal of humiliation and social rejection for the kid - but countless moments of awkward-situation and mistaken-identity hilarity for the audience. But Harold does have at least two things in his favor: a rapier wit that allows him to hold his own in any situation - no matter how surrealistic and bizarre in nature - and a mature enough understanding of how the world actually works to help him navigate through life's rough waters and emerge a stronger person in the end (at times he seems like Woody Allen as we imagine he might have been right at the onset of puberty). And it's that spirit of knowing optimism, more than anything else, that purges "Harold" of cruelty and makes us laugh WITH rather than AT the character.
I don't know where these guys Fields and Shannon came from, but their script for this film is a gem of originality, tonal balance and understated satire. In addition, the movie is blessed with an array of outstanding performances, starting with Spenser Breslin, who makes of Harold a thoroughly likeable and wholly relatable figure. Ditto for the rest of the cast, which includes Ally Sheedy, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Rachel Dratch, Chris Parnell, Stella Maeve, Suzanne Shepherd, Elizabeth Gilles and Robert Gorry.
Together they've made an endearing, hilarious comedy that grinds the over-priced and overpaid Hollywood big boys of the business into the dust.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I bought this movie only because Liz Gillies stars in it but it turned out a really cute movie about moving and finding your place in a new school. Read morePublished on June 20, 2013 by Frederique
Great product! It made me smile I liked it so much I think I cried when it arrived!! Simply AWESOME!Published on February 9, 2013 by Heather Hambrecht
Offensive humor. Bad acting. All add up to a not so good movie.
Where do actors go when their careers are over or tanking, act in Harold. Read more
The cover picture alone inspired me to rent this movie. The basic premise of a 14-year-old boy with premature male pattern baldness sounded funny, but I wasn't sure if it had... Read morePublished on January 13, 2009 by Quagland Clevemire