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By Felix Vasquez Jr. | September 29, 2006

Ah, to be back in high school. If I had the ability I’d basically re-live the last two years, which ended as two fun semesters, though I doubt many would share the same sentiment, and neither would our main character Donny who is a late bloomer in every sense of the word, a kid in high school who basically looks like he’s still in junior high. Channeling Frankie Muniz in many respects, Donny’s journey is basically superficial in every way. Writer Stuart C. Paul doesn’t really think outside of the box for a film that’s just really about a late blooming high schooler forced to confront the high school bully in the only way he knows how.

He bets the bully that if he can kiss the high school hottie (the really hot Christina Stacey) then the bully leaves him alone for good, but if he fails, he has to try out for football. McGowan’s enthusiastic direction is bright and often very pleasing to look at, and “Late Bloomer” harkens back to “Angus” and shows like “Freaks and Geeks” where our reluctant hero is powerless but seeks the inspiration to continue on with abuse all in exchange for the girl of his dreams (I sure as hell had mine). “Late Bloomer” is a fun fifteen minutes glossing over the desperate acts of this boy with taking testosterone pills and gluing hair to his body. And the final act is funny as he seeks his own personal victory. Chase is relatable as our main character and handles the role well, and “Late Bloomer” is ultimately an accurate and comedic depiction of the woes of high school life.

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