That's What I Am
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The message is stated in the synopsis on the DVD case; "tolerance takes courage".
To get this message across the storyline has some strange characters: Stanley who is the biggest kid in the school, yet gets bullied; Mr. Simon, who will not defend himself when a student he got expelled makes accusations which could ruin him; and Andy, the main character, who gets caught in the middle and must make some decisions which would be very hard for an eight grader.
The movie is seen mainly from Andy's point of view, which helps the viewer understand the difficulty he has in making his discussions.
This is a "coming-of-age" movie, but is this case the coming-of-age is not just Andy's dealing with his first love, but also maturing in other ways, such as understanding tolerance and courage.
Be sure and watch the credits at the end of the movie because while the credits are running it also has a "where are they now" feature which is fun.
The story is more about learning to accept others and overcoming bullying and peer group pressure. Was not what I'd expected, 'Gay coming out', but it was a good story and uplifting.
The story is quite good and, for many people, easily relatable. A boy who is on the verge of being one of the "cool" kids has a choice to make. He can do what is right and end up with the nerds (i.e. those who will succeed) or do what is wrong and be liked by the bad boys and, better yet, the bad girls.
As with many of us, his destiny is written by how he toys around with the sides of good and evil in middle school.
Tons of people will probably have lots to say about the homosexual message in the film. There's no overt gross stuff to show you in either homo- or heterosexual (I think there may be one kiss in the whole film and its heterosexual). But the film deals in part with homophobia as a tool to get across a message: Our public actions determine how we ought to be respected in a public setting. We can find fault with anyone, and it tends to be those with glaring faults who seem to get caught up in listing everyone else's.
If you are pro-homosexual, anti-homosexual or don't care, I think you'll find the message mostly unoffensive and even inspire conversation in your house (as it did ours).
He sticks out like a sore thumb. He's such a brilliantly good actor and he gets you caught up in every scene. The directors and writers use him brilliantly to move you with the plot. And he commands such authority that it's easy to see him as the sage teacher he portrays.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good coming of age movie. Doesn't dwell too much on the final issue, which is representative of how things were back then.Published 2 months ago by Larry B
I loved it! Super cute, coming of age movie with a lot of life lessons.Published 7 months ago by Karina Bowles
Came across this movie on tv one night and had to buy it! I have shared it with many friends & family and all have liked it. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Fawn
alot of twist and turns keep you on your edge of seat!!!!Published 13 months ago by robert e harris