May 11, 2018

Measure of a Man is in select theaters on May 11th, 2018.

Based on Robert Lipsyte’s “One Fat Summer”, Jim Loach had all the potential of producing a solid, encouraging young adult flick, but the one-dimensional characters and flat screenplay doesn’t really stick out in the coming-of-age genre.

In the summer of 1976, teenage Bobby Marks (Blake Cooper) is lukewarm as the self-conscious protagonist as we see his journey through a summer of being as uncomfortable around others as he is in his own skin. The small snippet of comfort we see at the beginning of summer is with Joanie, (Danielle Rose Russell), as he hides behind an easygoing friendship to avoid bullies and other peers he feels like he doesn’t measure up to due to his overweight appearance. When Joanie leaves to the city and his totally-just-don’t-get-it parents (Judy Greer, Luke Wilson), Bobby finds summer work with a very stern Dr. Kahn (Donald Sutherland), maintaining the land of his estate. Through this experience, Bobby finds a formidable mentor in Kahn and a worthy man within himself.

The best move made was to set the film in 1976 rather than Lipsyte’s early 40’s vision. Always a cheap nostalgic move, but a well placed soft rock throwback in combination with pubescent character development does the job. This film is absolutely watchable and charming at times, but if it were not for the professional editing, I would assume the film was a rough draft of sorts. The characters and their relationships weren’t developed to the full potential enough to reach past the surface of my brain and into my heart.

I would recommend this movie to those tv surfing on some lazy Sunday down the line on one of those feel good networks. You’ll crack a few smiles along the way.

Rating: 2 out of 5

Marisa Marisa (Contributor) is a Maryland native who currently works in New York City. She is an avid Auburn Tigers fan and enjoys traveling around the world. Her hobbies include movies, going to just about any type of sporting event, live music, and playing with her husky and pug.
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