Junior high student Bryce Loski (Callan McAuliffe) has the self-perceived misfortune of having been pined over by his cute-as-a-button neighbor Juli Baker (played with effortless charm by Madeline Carroll) since second grade. Juli has her heart set on having her first kiss with Bryce and spending their lives together.
However, a crash course in character judgment, from Bryce's wise grandfather Chet (John Mahoney), leads Juli to reconsider whether or not Bryce has the qualities of a virtuous person. The influence of Bryce's bigoted father (Anthony Edwards) has left marks on the boy's limited sense of social communication, while Juli's upbringing has made her unreserved about things like actively protesting the destruction of her favorite neighborhood sycamore tree.
Although Reiner treads all over the golden rule of "show-don't-tell," "Flipped" compensates for its narrative trespasses in the ways it sidesteps other cliché pitfalls to render an emotionally authentic coming-of-age reality. Parents and children alike will indeed "flip" over this inspiring little movie.
Rated PG. 90 mins.
Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.
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