Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.
USA, 2006. Gran Via, New Line Cinema, Walden Media. Screenplay by Bob Dolman, based on the novel by Thomas Rockwell. Cinematography by Richard Rutkowski. Produced by Mark Johnson, Philip Steuer. Music by Mark Mothersbaugh, Robert Mothersbaugh. Production Design by Caty Maxey. Costume Design by Kathy Kiatta. Film Editing by Janice Hampton, Frederick Wardell.
Adults will be bored silly, even those who enjoyed the Thomas Rockwell book as a kid, but the wee ones will thoroughly enjoy this gross-out comedy about Billy, a little boy with a weak stomach who gets bullied on the first day at his new school. Joe, the enemy in question, puts worms in our hero’s lunchbox, inspiring Billy to show him up by insisting that worms are a favourite meal of his. Words escalate to a bet, and before you know it Billy is chowing down on ten fried worms on a wager that will require him to wiggle his way down the school’s halls with worms in his pants should he lose. This cut-and-paste, by-the-numbers adaptation of Rockwell’s book never takes the time to really stop and indulge in any kind of emotional excitement, merely working through its plot and then sending you home with nothing to hold on to, but it is mildly fun and the youngsters are appealing (if a bit overdone—how many seasoned child actors could you possibly squeeze into one film?)