For some reason, although I try hold my literary judgment beyond the book cover, movie trailers still fool me with snippets of dialogue and fleeting snaps of humor. This is how movie fans fall prey to films like “Rocket Science,” a viewing experience to which I eagerly counted down.
High schooler Hal Hefner (Reece Thompson) is soft-spoken because he stutters. This puts him at the lunch table with other weirdos and out of the orbit of cool kids or scholastic hotties like Ginny Ryerson (Anna Kendrick), the auctioneer-speed-talking reigning queen of the school’s debate team.
But for some reason, Ginny starts talking to the awkward Mr. Hal and even convinces him to join the debate team as her partner. From stutterer to debater? No way!
Like all high school girls, she is actually a vindictive, manipulative liar “ her affection for Hal all a ruse, part of her effort to pad the Plainsboro debate team with losers so she could leave school and defect to a rival team before turning around to slay them all at the final debate showdown.
Some funny comments from Hal’s jerk brother Earl (Vincent Piazza) are peppered in, as are weird sexual quips from Ginny’s creepy neighbor Lewis Garrles (Josh Kay), but they aren’t enough to make the film at all worthwhile.
Someone should have scrubbed the launch of “Rocket Science” “ a film with absolutely no blast-off.