Starring: Naomi Watts, Jaeden Lieberher, Jacob Tremblay, Sarah Silverman, Lee Pace, Maddie Ziegler, Dean Norris
OUR RATNG: ★★★☆☆
Story: Drama directed by Colin Trevorrow which follows single mother Susan Carpenter (Naomi Watts) who works as a waitress at a diner, alongside her family friend Sheila (Sarah Silverman). She has two sons, 11-year-old boy Henry (Jaeden Lieberher) and her younger son Peter (Jacob Tremblay).
Henry has a crush on their neighbor Christina (Maddie Ziegler), the stepdaughter of the Police Commissioner, Glenn Sickleman (Dean Norris). To protect Christina from harm at the hands of her stepfather, Henry comes up with a plan to rescue her that he writes down in a book. Henry’s mother discovers the book and decides that she and Peter will put Henry’s scheme into motion, and in the process discovers new strength as a parent.
Verdict: An original movie from director Colin Trevorrow that took some risks which should be applauded but sadly didn’t overall work for the movie. The performances and characters are strong and there is no weak link in that sense, the problem with the movie is the way the story is told, and even though it was a risk that could have paid off, it just didn’t payoff the way it should have, it just felt too disjointed. This movie is definitely not going to appeal to a wide audience, and even though it’s thoughtful it has a pretty predictable ending. In the end unless you are open into experiencing an offbeat indie movie with a different way of storytelling then I wouldn’t bother with this.
Best Quotes (Total Quote: 22)
Henry Carpenter: [voice over] This story is about me, my brother, my mom, and the girl who lived next door.
[giving a speech to his classmates]
Henry Carpenter: Our legacy isn’t what we write on our resume or how many commas we have in our bank account. It’s who we’re lucky enough to have in our lives and what we can leave them with. The one thing we do know, we’re here now. So I say we do the best we can, and that’s what I think about my legacy.
Mrs. Evans: Henry, remind me again why we can’t put you in a gifted school?
Henry Carpenter: Because it’s better for my psycho social development for me to interact with the peer at a normal school environment.
Mrs. Evans: Oh, yeah. Okay.
John: Late again.
Susan Carpenter: Dog ate my car.
John: Table seven says their eggs are too wet, so have fun with that.
Sheila: Hey, toots, how’s tricks?
Susan Carpenter: Oh, the feds are all over me. I had to move money into my Swiss bank account, and the rates are terrible.
Sheila: Tell me about it. When I won the lottery, you should have seen the taxes. Eighty-two million turned into sixteen million. What am I going to buy with that?
John: Hey, table seven is real.
Susan Carpenter: Sell the castle yet?
Sheila: Of course I could, but I’m having a hard time unloading Monte Carlo.
[she turns around and sees a male diner patron staring at her chest]
Sheila: My boobs are up here.
John: Hey, Susan, I guess I can just set you up with a direct deposit if that’s easier.
Susan Carpenter: I don’t know, I’ll have to ask Henry.
John: You have to ask your eleven year-old?
[as she enters through the front door]
Susan Carpenter: Hello? Oh, my munchkin.
[she hugs Peter, picks him up and kisses his cheek, then see Henry wearing his gogles and helmet]
Susan Carpenter: What, jeez, Henry, just say no.
Peter Carpenter: Sheila!
[Peter hugs her]
Sheila: Oh, hello, Peter.
[looks at Henry]
Henry Carpenter: It’s actually Henry. I’d think you’d be able to retain at least one simple name somewhere beyond that haircut.
Sheila: Nice goggles, they go well with your misshapen head.
Susan Carpenter: Don’t you two start already.
[referring to the mess Henry and Peter have made]
Susan Carpenter: Now, I’m going to pretend all this didn’t happen, because I’ve had a hell of a day and Shelia and I are just going to hang out a little. Okay?
Henry Carpenter: They’re going to get so drunk right now.
Peter Carpenter: I know.
Susan Carpenter: I heard that.
Henry Carpenter: Did our financial statement come in the mail today?
Susan Carpenter: Yeah, I forgot to give it to you.
[as Henry is trying out his new invention]
Henry Carpenter: Okay, what do you want to make?
Peter Carpenter: Flying trampoline.
Henry Carpenter: Why don’t we start small?
Peter Carpenter: Rocket boots!
Henry Carpenter: Mm, that’s kind of hard too.
[Henry sees Peter looking disappointed]
Henry Carpenter: Okay, you have to build in a failsafe. It’s all about timing, setup, covering every contingency. One little miscalculation and the whole thing fails.
Peter Carpenter: Like the waffle iron.
Henry Carpenter: Waffle irons are tricky.
Sheila: I don’t know how you do it, all by yourself.
Susan Carpenter: Come on, I have Henry! Find me another male of the species who’s more grownup than him.
Sheila: I’d like to.
Henry Carpenter: Mom.
Susan Carpenter: Hmm.
Henry Carpenter: That woman today, at the grocery store, you didn’t do anything to help her.
Susan Carpenter: I told you, it just wasn’t our business.
Henry Carpenter: I think when someone hurts someone else, I think it our business.
Susan Carpenter: Well, I know it seems that way, but there was nothing I could do.
Henry Carpenter: Yeah, mom, if everybody did that then there would be no one to look out for the people who just can’t look out for themselves.
Susan Carpenter: So what should I have done? I didn’t want things to get violent.
Henry Carpenter: Violence isn’t the worst thing in the world.
Susan Carpenter: What is then?
Henry Carpenter: Apathy.
Susan Carpenter: Hey, Glenn. You must be excited about the talent show.
Glenn Sickleman: Oh, yeah. Yeah, I confess I get a little impatient with things like that. I thought Janie’s mom was taking you.
Christina: Jenna. They’re out of town that week.
Susan Carpenter: Well, I can, I’m happy to take her.
Glenn Sickleman: I’ll, uh, I’ll pick her up.
Susan Carpenter: Great.
Christina: Mrs. Carpenter.
Susan Carpenter: Sweetie, please, Susan.
Christina: Henry and Peter, they’re lucky to have you.
Susan Carpenter: Thank you. And your father is lucky to have you too.
[Christina turns and walks off]
Henry Carpenter: You okay?
Christina: I’m good.
Henry Carpenter: Mom, I have to tell you something and it’s very important. Christina’s in trouble.
Henry Carpenter: [voice over] When someone hurts someone else we have to make it better. There’s only one way to stop it. I’d hope to do it all myself, but that’s not an option.
Susan Carpenter: There has to be another way to help Christina.
[Peter points to the text written in the book “Why there’s no way to help Christina”]
Susan Carpenter: Why there’s no way to help…
Principal Wilder: [to Susan] Mr. Sickleman is the Police Commissioner, I’m not going to subject him to public scrutiny without conclusive evidence.
Susan Carpenter: Okay, let’s do this.
Henry Carpenter: [voice over] Mom, everything you need is right here. I’ll be with you the whole time.
Susan Carpenter: I know what you’ve done. Henry documented all of it.
Glenn Sickleman: Who do you think they’re going to believe?
Henry Carpenter: [voice over] It can’t be left undone.
Henry Carpenter: No matter what, don’t panic.
Susan Carpenter: I’m not panicking!
Henry Carpenter: [voice over] We have to make it better.
Total Quotes: 22