Ready for another story of awkward teens, ignored adolescence, over-bearing parents and your first crush – all without the happy ending? Check out the quirky little tale of a guy known as "Just Peck" hitting DVD this week ala Image Entertainment. Check out the school checklist below!
Title: "Just Peck"
Grade: 3 1/2
Cast: Keir Gilchrist, Brie Larson, Camryn Manheim
Director: Michael A. Nickels
Rating: Not Rated
Runtime: 93 minutes
Release Company: Image Entertainment
The Flick: While there are tons of character clichés within "Just Peck," there are some equally interesting original elements as well. On the down side are the laughable one-note cheese turns by Camryn Manheim (I adored her on "The Practice" – what happened?!) as the gamey school principal and both Marica Cross and Adam Arkin as Peck’s stern yuppie parents – all of which belong more in a slapstick setting then a heady teen drama. But on the up side there is a notable and unusual portrayal of a timid kid coming into his own (via Peck himself Keir Gilchrist!) and his strange, not-exactly-fairytale partnering with one messed up school senior (stand-out troubled gal Brie Larson) – far from the standard Ferris fluff fare. But it is that uneven and discombobulating balance between both that gives the flick a notable appeal – even if one does seem out of place. At it’s worst the film is a tribute to the Wayans School of clowning, but at it’s best the poignancy of Peck may very well surprise you.
Best Feature: Not a featurette, outtake or even blooper reel to be had – shameful.
Best Hidden Gem: Brie Larson who creates one of the most original and complex yet realistic teens in a character world dominated with familiarity – she’s one to watch.
Worth the Moola: For those who can stomach the adult vaudeville, there is a deep story within the fodder.