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Fat Kid Rules The World Movie Review

May 20, 2012

I attended the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) and watched the presentation of Fat Kid Rules The World.

Matthew Lillard kicked off the movie by getting up on stage and expressing his gratitude  and instead of taking on his Director and Producing credit, he said, “This is our movie.”He asked those in the audience to raise their hand if they were involved with the production and I could see various hands scattered throughout the venue.

The first thing I noticed was the quality of the film production. This was more than just another indy film by an actor turned first time director, this film had a quality to the look and feel that was exciting.

This is a very unique film that you have to see for yourself, so I’m not going to give anything away in order not to spoil it for you. I thought it was going to be more of a punk genre movie that I would have to relate to from my high school years, but I walked out of the threatre realizing this film relates to all of us on a deeper level, and you certainly do not have to be a punk music fan or teenager to appreciate the story.

Matthew Lillard told us how he picked up the novel by KL Going “Fat Kid Rules The World” nine years ago, and ever since then this film has been in the making. He said that he was that kid, and that getting into drama in high school was the “punk rock” that saved his life.

The story begins with Troy Billings (Jacob Wysocki). A fat kid who has become suicidal and in his attempt to kill himself by walking in front of a bus is saved by Marcus (Matt O’Leary) a high school drop out, and chemically dependent punk rock musician and street kid. The two unlikely characters become friends, and you quickly realize they both share one thing in common, and that is self destructive behavior trying to cope with the world around them.

The film flashes into the fantasy mind of Troy Billings, and surprises the audience with scenes we can all relate to when we let our imagination run wild. The audience laughs during these cutaways with delight and enthusiasm. We all relate to this off the wall “what if” thinking.

The actors picked are amazing choices. They all deliver with believability and relatedness. The role of Troy’s father (Billy Campbell) was another character delivery that was spot on. He played a tough marine turned security guard, and as often as you expected one response from him to his son’s antics and new found friend, you got a guy who was an example of what being a good father and a good person is all about.

There are many great scenes in this movie that deals with relationship issues of all kinds. Troy’s heart to heart talk with his younger brother Dayle – played by the actor Dylan Arnold is another point in the movie to pay close attention to.

After the show Matthew Lillard returned to the stage to take questions and one of them was how did the film get Billy Campbell as the role of the father. Matthew spoke of the films limited budget, and how he was preparing his lines to play the part of the dad, when a local agent friend of his said Billy had just wrapped up a movie and was available. He said he called Billy and even after Billy happily accepted the role, he found himself still begging him to play the part. Matthew thought that if he had played the role it would have been the worsts mistake he had made, and then he followed up with, “I think that is the meanest thing I have ever said to myself.”

It’s this sense of humor and direction that made this film amazing, but Matthew still didn’t take credit. He said he would come up with an idea and his advisers on the set would run with it taking scenes to places he could never have imagined.

Matthew had invited up everyone to the stage who worked on the film and the audience had so much fun seeing all the people that were involved and there to support the project. A special thanks went to Rick Rosenthal for having the vision to produce a movie about a fat kid.

In the end, Matthew told the audience not to get too excited, because next he would be asking for money. I don’t think anyone in the audience took offense.

They just landed a deal with TUGG, this is an opportunity for a group of 20 people or more to request to see a film on demand at the movie theater in your area.

Fat Kid Rules The World is also going on the WARP Tour, bringing the movie to every location the WARP Tour will be performing.

They are also doing a Kickstarter Campaign to raise money for distribution to bring the film to a city near you.

I not only suggest you see this film, but you become a part of it, and help make it happen.

Check out TUGG, and their Kickstarter Campaign. If you don’t have the means to donate, you can help by getting the word out and follow them on Facebook and Twitter, and send out some Tweets and posts in support of this amazing film.

After the presentation was over, the audience was meeting and greeting with Matthew, the actors and production crew. I walked up to Rick Rosenthal to tell him how much I loved the film, was very surprised at how good it was, and it was so much deeper on so many levels that I didn’t expect. He responded very passionately and simply, “It’s a story of a fat kid, but we’re all that fat kid in high school, even if we are the skinny kid, even if we were the jock, we all can identify with the same struggles.”

An update: As of today the Kickstarter campaign has reached their $150,000 goal, with 59 hours left! That means this film will be coming to select theaters across the country, with the support and love of the fans of the movie. Make sure you go see this movie as soon as you get the chance! Fat Kid Rules the World Rocks!

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