Hair Brained Movie Review

Gentle and very smart, this low-key comedy gets under the skin as it follows a smart young kid into the adult world. Without quite becoming either a frat-house comedy or coming-of-age odyssey, the film knowingly avoids cliches while telling a hugely engaging story with so much charm that it's virtually impossible to stop smiling.

The kid is 13-year-old frizzy-haired genius Eli (Wolff), who longs to attend Harvard but is instead stuck with 27-best choice Whittman College. His first friend there is the oldest freshman, 30-something Leo (Fraser), who is trying to reinvent himself and introduces Eli to the campus' party lifestyle. Then after a run-in with three Harvard snobs, Eli decides to teach his desired university a lesson: he joins Whittman's Mastermind team (alongside Bergman, Lee and de Jesus) and swiftly starts turning their losing streak around as they climb through the ranks and head to a showdown with Harvard at the national finals.

While the competition plot follows a fairly standard trajectory, writer Wierzbianski and director Kent refuse to indulge in trite formulaic melodramatics. Even the way Eli falls for a teen (Garner) from the local town feels fresh and unexpected. And while the humour is rarely laugh-out-loud funny, the smiles are earned because they are grounded in the characters rather than cheap jokes. It also helps that each character is a vivid bundle of complex energy and emotion, nicely played by an up-for-it cast.

By twisting our expectations with intelligent touches, the filmmakers manage to skewer college movie cliches. And they keep the tone personal, which lets us experience everything along with Eli and adds a surprising emotional kick. Leo's journey is also unusually provocative, nicely played by Fraser as Leo balances grown-up responsibilities with a desire to be a kid again. Throw in comedy veterans like Posey (as Eli's useless mom) and Pendleton (as a shady recruiter), and this becomes one of those American indie films that continually surprises us even as it carries us along to a shamelessly feel-good finale.

Cast & Crew

Director : Billy Kent

Producer : Billy Kent, Sarah Bird,


Comments

Hair Brained Rating

" Excellent "

Rating: 12, 2014

Advertisement

Editors Recommendations

"Hercules" Falters, While "Lucy" Shines At The Box Office With $44 Million

This week at the box office, the sci-fi thriller Lucy won out over slim...

The New Mockingjay Trailer Will Make Your Heart Weep

Another Comic-Con, another Hunger Games trailer. Not that we mind, of course...

The New Mockingjay Trailer Will Make Your Heart Weep

Director George Miller Speaks On Purposely Avoiding Use Of CGI In 'Mad Max: Fury Road'

It has been over three decades since Australian filmmaker...

Director George Miller Speaks On Purposely Avoiding Use Of CGI In 'Mad Max: Fury Road'

Taylor Swift Offers Advice To A Young Fan With A Broken Heart

If her songs are anything to go by, then Taylor Swift is definitely the person you should...

 Taylor Swift Offers Advice To A Young Fan With A Broken Heart

Over 20 Fans Hospitalized Following Keith Urban's Weekend Concert

For many concertgoers, Keith Urban's Saturday night (July 26th) show in...

Over 20 Fans Hospitalized Following Keith Urban's Weekend Concert

Aretha Franklin Lashes Out At Canadian Fast Food Join For Showing Her No Respect

Legendary singer Aretha Franklin has publically scolded an employee at...

Aretha Franklin Lashes Out At Canadian Fast Food Join For Showing Her No Respect
Advertisement

Flirt Alert: Did Orlando Bloom And Nina Dobrev Really Get Close At Comic-Con?

Ok, so the romance at Comic-Con is definitely secondary to the first...

Flirt Alert: Did Orlando Bloom And Nina Dobrev Really Get Close At Comic-Con?

Nicki Minaj Announces Postponement Of New Single 'Anaconda' With Sexy Swimsuit Pic

Nicki Minaj managed to garner the attention of an undoubtedly...

Nicki Minaj Announces Postponement Of New Single 'Anaconda' With Sexy Swimsuit Pic

Comic-Con Update: Evangeline Lilly Joins The Cast Of Ant-Man Amid Production Mishaps

More Marvel. More cast announcements. This is Comic-Con weekend. The latest round...

Comic-Con Update: Evangeline Lilly Joins The Cast Of Ant-Man Amid Production Mishaps


More recommendations

Advertisement