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Overall Rating

Awesome: 26.92%
Worth A Look: 19.23%
Average: 7.69%
Pretty Bad: 5.77%
Total Crap40.38%

2 reviews, 40 user ratings

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Bubble Boy
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by EricDSnider

"I know someone who doesn't like movies. I'm starting to understand him."
1 stars

As if the first 80 minutes of "Bubble Boy" were not insufferable enough, the last four insult the intelligence of the viewer beyond all hope of redemption. The film has written itself into a corner by putting its protagonist in a lose-lose situation, then gets out of it by suddenly changing the rules, chickening out, and making everything that occurred in the first 80 minutes a lie. It's not an "it was all just a dream" scenario, but it's almost as bad.

This is almost beside the point, though, except to show what a bad idea this movie was in the first place: How could anyone have thought this would turn out good with such a cheat ending?

The situation is that Jimmy Livingston (Jake Gyllenhaal) was born without an immune system, which means even one germ could kill him. As a result, he has grown up in a large plastic bubble, which protects him from germs, doted on by his hypocritical religious zealot mother (Swoosie Kurtz), who protects him from The World.

Mom reads him fairy tales like Pinocchio: "Then Pinocchio came out of his plastic bubble, touched the filthy whore next door, and died." This object lesson is necessary because Jimmy, now a teen-ager, has been eyeing the lovely Chloe (Marley Shelton) from his bedroom window. She starts up a friendship with him, but since she cannot enter his bubble and be with him physically, she eventually gets frustrated and heads off to Niagara Falls to marry a jerk named Mark (Dave Sheridan).

Finally roused to action, Jimmy constructs a bubble just big enough for his body and sets off for Niagara. Along the way, he encounters an Up with People-type musical group that is actually a religious cult. (The cult leader is Fabio, who also had a cameo in "Dude, Where's My Car?," which was also a straightforward stupid movie with a lot of weird, fantastical angles to it. For that matter, the guy who plays Mark looks just like Seann William Scott, who was in "Dude." How very cosmic.) He also meets a biker (Danny Trejo) who has one of the film's three funny lines (a play on "We don't need no stinking badges!" from "Treasure of the Sierra Madre") and who encourages Jimmy to go for the gold, live without regret, carpe diem, and so forth. He also runs afoul of a freak show led by Vern Troyer, who played Mini-Me in "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me." He also bumps into ... oh, forget it.

Gyllenhaal, a talented actor who made a splash in "October Sky," performs with gusto the terrible script set before him. He speaks in an annoying nerd voice, though, which doesn't make his one-dimensional character any more tolerable.

This is a garish, tawdry film, a mean-spirited trainwreck with virtually no redeeming qualities. It does not roll in the filth like so many comedies do these days, but it does dip its toe into the mud, while also slapping around a few religions and other groups.

It was directed by Blair Hayes and written by Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio -- all first-timers, and it shows. Such ineptness comes only through inexperience or head trauma. Another movie like this, and there'll be head traumas all around.

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 08/27/01 12:09:18
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User Comments

5/04/07 Ole Man Bourbon About as good as it could have been 3 stars
3/17/06 Matt An entire movie made from a stolen idea from a MAD TV clip that wasnt funny anyway 1 stars
1/18/05 Jeff Anderson My favorite guilty pleasure OF ALL TIME! A high spirited, weird, and enjoyable lark. 5 stars
9/27/03 Chlo (Mrs. Jake Gyllenhaal) Well, Jake, I still think you're hot, but what was with that voice, man?! 2 stars
6/08/03 Chiend This turd is as heartwarming as Shirley Booth in a Nazi swastika and jack boots. 1 stars
5/25/03 BMB Not stupid funnny, just stupid! 1 stars
1/30/03 John Aster Habig worst movie ever next to "8 crazy nights" and "joe dirt" 1 stars
10/07/02 Zaw this movie is made Stupid Funny way!, If you're its stupid funny then you're a dumbass. 5 stars
9/15/02 bob average crappy movie 2 stars
8/18/02 LessThanColleen It was so stupid, but that's why I liked it! Plus Jake Gyllenhaal is one of my fav actors 4 stars
8/14/02 palaboy101 This movie totally SUCKS!!! If you enjoyed this, YOU'RE A LOSER!!! 1 stars
8/06/02 I Can't Swim You just have to forget & forgive the lousy scenes, a good one is minutes away 4 stars
5/28/02 Keith better than I thought it would be, but not great 4 stars
5/24/02 Amy Don't like dumb movies but this was cute and funny - Jake G is adorable. 4 stars
5/19/02 Jeremy If you like road comedies (like Rat Race) you'll LOVE this 5 stars
4/29/02 Reaganski Great freaks. Not bad don't know why people panned it so hard. 3 stars
4/19/02 natasha talented cast deserves a better movie; some nice moments and laughs 3 stars
4/12/02 special K as you would expect. but compared to rat race, this is oscar worthy 2 stars
4/08/02 Spyguy2 Much better than I expected, rips republicans and religious hypocrites, subversively funny. 4 stars
4/01/02 Joe Schulz I will be killing myself shortly 1 stars
3/07/02 Jenny Tullwartz Makes PC elite balk, but really has most sympathetic portrayal of a Hindu since GANDHI. 4 stars
2/25/02 Bri funny at times, better than rat race 4 stars
2/14/02 Goon its like Pee Wees big adventure. its against abusing religion, not religion itself. grow up 4 stars
1/27/02 Andrew Carden Unfunny Comedy...Has A Tasteless and Mean Plot. 1 stars
10/08/01 Larry Gardner I wrote the song "Bitch Slap Me Jesus" that was used in the film. 5 stars
9/27/01 Unhappy Gilmore This movie was hilarious! Hopefully it'll find its audience on cable/video 5 stars
9/11/01 Kelly Cook I loved this movie! If you did or you just like Jake Gyllenhaal, e-mail me! 5 stars
9/08/01 the scarecrow come on, lighten up! it was funny! 4 stars
9/05/01 Heather It is mocking, and it's terrible! 1 stars
9/05/01 Billy Bob pretty funny 3 stars
9/03/01 Eva It was sweet. Not a classic, obviously, but the best of the summer. 5 stars
8/30/01 Critic It was absolutly hillarious! 500 Dolla!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
8/30/01 Whooter This movie went over everyone's heads, or they didn't actually see it. 4 stars
8/28/01 James Gyllenhall looks like The next one hit wonder 1 stars
8/28/01 I hate you Only inbred hillbillies could possibly like this film. 1 stars
8/28/01 Kunou I'd say all the comments before me summed it up pretty well. This sucks. 1 stars
8/25/01 Rampage awful, not even worth a matinee *sigh* 1 stars
8/25/01 karen this movie is offensive and lacks total compasion for the ill, if they make a movie like t, 1 stars
8/22/01 The Boy In The Designer Bubble Bastards stole my name. I should sue. And making fun of the handicapped is not funny!!!! 1 stars
8/21/01 Genna Y Waste of time! Not even worth waiting for video. 1 stars
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  24-Aug-2001 (PG-13)



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