(out of 5)
Sweet adolescent tearjerker about a young boy (Joseph Mazzello) growing up with a warm hearted single mother (a perfectly cast Ashley Judd) and an iron-willed grandmother (Dana Ivey). He befriends an unusually small boy (Ian Michael Smith) and experiences all sorts of crazy adventures with him. Loosely inspired by John Irving’s novel A Prayer For Owen Meany, the film has a very rich feel in every frame that is good to the last drop, and the committed performances (even the cameo by Jim Carrey as a grownup Mazzello) all contribute effectively. Oliver Platt has his best role to date as a wisecracking suitor to Judd, but it is Smith’s wise and constantly perceptive Simon that makes its mark.
Directed by Mark Steven Johnson
Screenplay by Mark Steven Johnson, based on the novel by John Irving
Cinematography by Aaron Schneider
Music by Marc Shaiman
Production Design by David Chapman
Film Editing by David Finfer