Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 40% (Critics) / 64% (Audience)
Directed By: Patrick Read Johnson
Written By: Jill Gordon
Starring: Charlie Talbert, George C. Scott, Kathy Bates and James Van Der Beek
Studio: New Line Cinema
Synopsis: A miserable fat teenager secretly has a crush on the class beauty, ends up becoming the surprising participant to dance with her at a high school dance, meaning he’s got to get his act together with the help of his best friend. (Source)
While Angus is pretty much a run-of-the-mill “outsider overcomes bullies to get the girl” story I do have to give the film extra points for character of Angus Bethune. Sure he’s a fat kid with pitiful social skills but he also goes against the grain by being a member of the football team and not a frightened little wimp. If push comes to shove Angus is much likelier to punch a bully in the mouth than to run for his life in fear. Added bonus for the character being a portly kid and not just some model looking actor who is automatically the unpopular kid just because he wears glasses or has no money.
Kathy Bates and George C. Scott really seemed like they could be father and daughter in their performances as Angus’ crotchety grandfather and tough mother.
The object of Angus’s affections is the popular cheerleader Melissa Lefevre and aside from being a popular cheerleader we know nothing else about this character. Granted at the end of the film there is a tacked on scene of what I am guessing is supposed to be some character growth but honestly this girl was a complete cypher and I did not get why Angus would be so enamored with her.
Future DAWSON’S CREEK star James Van Der Beek is sufficiently douchbaggie as popular bully Rick Sanford (an evil movie douche name if ever there was one) but there is one point where the kid goes from your average high school dick to budding sociopath and it was a bit of a jarring turn.
Final Verdict: ANGUS doesn’t reinvent the wheel or anything but an original lead character and a nice performance from the veteran actors results in an entertainingly charming teen coming of age tale.