How to Eat Fried Worms Movie Review
Oh yeah, and there's this movie she's in, an adaptation of the beloved 1973 novel How to Eat Fried Worms. I remember loving this book when I was a kid, but today I can't really remember the actual plot (except there was a lot of worm-eatin' in it). Maybe that's for the best. The word is that the film has taken some liberties with the book, but aside from modernizing the story, I couldn't really tell you what was different.
The story involves a bet: New kid at school Billy (Luke Benward) runs afoul of bully Joe (Adam Hicks), who ends up betting the weak-stomached Billy he won't consume 10 worms in a day without puking. Billy, anxious to prove himself, agrees... and what follows is an exploration of how disgusting worm cuisine can be.
All the hallmarks of the modern K-8 comedy can be found here: A mild struggle to overcome with almost harmless repercussions whether he wins or loses the battle, a tepid romance, plenty of geeky sidekicks, and loads of gross-out humor. None of this is particularly original or effective here, and the cast of unknown child actors (the now-awkward Eisenberg excepted) are universally average. Some semi-known faces (Kimberly Williams, James Rebhorn) play various adults in the film, but their scenes are minuscule.
Director Bob Dolman's last outing was the unwatchable The Banger Sisters, and this is fortunately a vast improvement over that debacle. The comedy here is weak, but at least it exists, and my four-year-old daughter seemed mildly amused by the kid eating worms. When I told her it was a really good book, she pretty much shrugged it off.