Rated: PG-13 Reviewed by: Frank Release date: September 15, 1995 Released by: New Line Cinema
Angus is actually two films in one, the second better than the first. The beginning is a typical misfit teen film which turns into a thoughtful look at differences.
Angus (Charlie Talbert) is a heavy teen who admires thin, blond Melissa Lefevre (Arian Richards - Jurassic Park) from afar. He is a brilliant science student and a solid offensive tackle on the foot ball team. Throughout his life he has been eclipsed by handsome blond Rick Sanford (James Ban Der Beek). Angus has one friend - a small carrot-top teen (Chris Owen - Picket Fences). They both long to be more like everyone3 else.
The strong supporting cast is led by Academy Award winners Kathy Bates as the mother and George C. Scott as the grandfather. Each has a weight problem and Grandpa makes it clear that it's always been that way in the family.
The film has two climatic scenes. The first is on the grandfather's wedding day and the other is at the freshman dance where the popular guys have engendered the election of Angus as the king of the prom. With his grandfather's motivational words in mind, Angus takes on the obnoxious, popular Rick and accepts his place with his queen, Melissa.
The screenplay by Jill Gordon and the direction of Patrick Read Johnson improves as the film progresses. Johnson even finds Angus at one point after the dance to make Angus look handsome as his inner confidence grows.
There are too many films with this basic theme, but this one isn't bad at all. It is well performed and more interesting than the nerd series, but it may have a problem identifying with its audience. The beginning is aimed at one audience and the later part at another.