Great casting is absolutely vital to a puckishly impudent comedy like "Bubble Boy" -- the story of a happy-go-lucky, immune-deficient geek who zip-locks himself into a homemade portable orb to travel cross-country and stop the wedding of the girl he loves.
Put somebody like Adam Sandler, David Spade or Seth Green in the title role, and this childlike weirdo with matted hair and a whiney voice would lose all his sweet qualities and quickly become intolerably abrasive.
But Jake Gyllenhaal, who made such a lasting impression as future NASA scientist Homer Hickman in the little-seen coming of age picture "October Sky" -- is absolutely brilliant in the role. His exaggerated wide-eyed naivete has just enough pepper to make you laugh with him, not at him. His hyperactive enthusiasm at taking his first steps into the world ("Dog poo! Aweeeesome!") is so real that you don't just laugh, you smile. He makes the character three-dimensional and 100-percent lovable, but in an ever-so-slightly ironic way that requires a ton of talent to maintain.
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