A sweetly sincere, rather dopey kid-flick that plucks at the heartstrings while hawking a message of tolerance. Unfortunately, inchoate screenwriting and a far-from-winsome star scuttle its good intentions. With his spectacles and offbeat looks, gawky Lloyd (Todd Bosley) doesn't fit the mold of grade-school dreamboat. Even his 8-year-old brother fends off dates, but eleven-year-old Lloyd's dance card is always empty. The only bright spot in Lloyd's life is his hobby, magic, but he hasn't yet mastered the trick of making low self-esteem disappear. After Lloyd's attempts at being the class clown backfire, he gets demoted to a special education class. Even in these lesser surroundings, a pecking order exists, with good-looking bully Storm (Patrick Higgins) catching the eye of pretty transfer student Tracy (Kristen Parker). Envious of the in-crowd, Lloyd refuses to acknowledge that plain-but-nice Carla (Chloe Peterson) has a crush on him and takes for granted his friendship with classmate Troy (Brandon Ryan Barrett). When the Phys.Ed. teacher organizes a fundraiser, the students diligently rehearse their two-step skills so they'll be able to participate in a country western barn dance. Eager to impress Tracy, Lloyd confiscates the square dance music and lets loose with a John Travolta disco impression. Lloyd's stunt upsets his fellow student, because it wastes their rehearsal time; they retaliate with a food fight. Will Lloyd ever learn that the secret to popularity doesn't lie in clamoring for attention from people who don't appreciate him? Aimed at youngsters who haven't yet figured out the rules of attraction, this picture overstates its case about eliminating primary school snobbery and is undermined by amateurish performances. Adults will come away thinking that the spotlight-hogging Lloyd doesn't need a confidence boost or beauty makeover as much as a visit to a shrink.
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- Released: 2001
- Rating: PG
- Review: A sweetly sincere, rather dopey kid-flick that plucks at the heartstrings while hawking a message of tolerance. Unfortunately, inchoate screenwriting and a far-from-winsome star scuttle its good intentions. With his spectacles and offbeat looks, gawky Lloy… (more)