這就是我 That's What I Am
A coming-of-age story that follows 12-year-old Andy Nichol (Chase Ellison), a bright student who, like most kids his age, will do anything to avoid conflict for fear of suffering overwhelming ridicule and punishment from his junior high school peers. Everyone's favorite teacher, Mr. Simon (Ed Harris), pairs Andy with the school's biggest outcast and social pariah, Stanley, aka "Big G" (Alexander Walters) on a critical term project. Sporting thick orange hair, a head too big for his body and ears too big for his head, "Big G" has been the object of ridicule since grade school. Before long, Andy will learn that there was truly a method behind Mr. Simon's madness as to why he teamed these two up. As the story unfolds, Mr. Simon finds himself the target of a malicious rumor after Principal Kelner (Amy Madigan) suspends a school bully for brutally beating up a female classmate who he thinks has "cooties." When Andy watches "Big G" fearlessly confront the school bully...
Andy Nichol 是一個沒有什麼不一樣的小年孩，低調並非與眾不同，但生活總會有改變，一次Andy最喜歡的老師Mr. Simon把他與big G分在一組，踏路入這個弱勢團體的第一步，但漸漸的發現，他們才是最善良的朋友，而故事就此展開...
Release Date (UK) – 13th May 2011
Certificate (UK) – PG
Country – USA
Runtime – 100 mins
Director – Michael Pavone
Starring – Ed Harris, Chase Ellison, Alexander Walters, Randy Orton, Cameron Deane Stewart
US corporate wrestling moguls WWE Inc are purveyors of muscle worship narratives that propagate the idea that spray-tanned American beefcakes are the last word in world-saving manhood. Judging by the recent, dire output of its movie-making outfit WWE Studio (Legendary, 12 Rounds, The Marine, The Marine 2, and wait for it – The Knucklehead) it’s an ideology that starts with John Cena in spandex and ends with SEAL Team Six raiding a private compound in Abbottabad. So it’s a surprise to see their latest feature is That’s What I Am, a liberal-and-proud-of-it, heartwarming family feature (almost) without a wrestler-in-civvies in sight.
Ed Harris is Mr. Simon, Jefferson High School’s dedicated English teacher who manages to keep his pupils’ rapt attention by reading Mark Twain’s Joan of Arc with masterly diction. When he places the ungainly school loser Big G (Walters) with popular Andy Nichol (Ellison) together on a school project, Andy sees there is much to admire in his partner – especially when he fearlessly overpowers school bully Carl Freel (Stewart) . But when Carl and his father (Orton) start spreading a certain rumour about Mr. Simon, and Big G risks becoming a laughing stock at the end of term talent show, it looks like nothing can prevent the forces of intolerance ruining all of their lives.
Children may enjoy this well-meaning, upright drama, adults may find its lack of emotional richness eventually bores. The trouble is that given the promising setup it chooses to shy away from fully exploring its consequences with any relish or excitement. Also annoying is its slavish imitation of TV’s The Wonder Years, never quite capturing the bittersweet poignancy that the best episodes of that series provoked, and utilising its intrusive voiceover to little effect. Instead of copying its format wholesale, mightn’t writer/director Pavone have based characters on some original observations?
And the final scene shows it wants to have its cake and eat it. If the whole point is that Mr. Simon doesn’t divulge the truth about himself because it is irrelevant to his capacity as schoolteacher, why does the film then think it’s OK tp tell us? Then again, with such a likeable message (albeit one clearly signposted), decent performances from Amy Madigan as school Principal, Molly Parker as Andy’s mother, and not least Harris as the stoical Mr Simon, perhaps we shouldn’t quibble. Worth going a few rounds with, just leave the lycra at home.