Growing Op (2008)

MICHAEL MELSKI

Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BBB.5

Canada2008.  Cineast Screen Developments, Cinimage, Emotion Pictures, Middlefish Films.  Screenplay by Michael Melski.  Cinematography by .  Produced by , , .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

High school is such a difficult time, with hormones burgeoning and peer pressure taking hold making it difficult to fit in.  Imagine how much more difficult it is when your parents are career pot dealers who have a veritable jungle of marijuana plants growing in every room of your house, and home school you in order that you won’t be brainwashed by the robotic conformity of the capitalist regime. Such is the conundrum facing Quinn, who suddenly wants something different when a pretty girl () moves in across the street. Quinn begs his parents to let him enroll in the local high school, promising them that he will resist becoming a societal drone and will live up to the high standard of academic excellence that they have instilled in him. His problems aren’t scholastic, actually, as he turns out to be a whiz science student; our hero’s issues lie not only with getting the girl to like him but also getting the school’s most popular jock off his back. Despite an uneven tone that shifts between poignant comedy and outright satire, this film is a breeze to watch and a pleasure to experience. The bright, sunny photography (atypical of a Canadian production) draws you into the world of a likeable teen and his hilarious parents, and even though a gimmicky ending (not atypical of a Canadian production, it particularly reeks of film school shenanigans) threatens to mar its success, the film is overall quite satisfying. is particularly memorable as our protagonist’s quirky but genuinely caring mother.

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