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February 16, 2013

Cinequest 2010


For some reason, 1981 was not really on my radar at Cinequest.  I had seen it in the program but nothing really sparked my interest, so when I was assigned to be presenter for this film my reaction was:  Meh.

I was won over within a minute of the film starting, and I believe the entire audience was.  This is a film that belongs on your Must-See list if you were ever 11 years old and made it to adulthood.  Think Neil Simon directs GOONIES or STAND BY ME without the adventure (No, really, go with me on this).  Narrated from an adult point of view, it’s a look back at being a regular 11 year old kid and the trials and tribulations that we must go through to grow up.

Ricardo Trogi is not an outsider, not a loser, not a nerd or a dork.  Neither is he the popular kid.  He’s just your plain old average 11 year old boy.  He has plenty of friends (who he found with the promise of some non-existent Playboys – as it is done in the world) and he has a loving, average family, which means that no one in it is either perfect or dysfunctional.

The film takes Ricardo on your typical journey through age 11:  trying to get money without working for it, living up to your family’s expectations, trying to apologize to your family when you realize you’ve hurt them, trying to fit in with classmates who seem to have it all, and most of all…  convincing the beautiful and mysterious Anne Tremblay to be your girlfriend.

There is another minor co-star of this movie, and that is the year 1981.  This film is amazingly detailed regarding costume, hair, and set design.  From the lunch boxes to the cars to the much sought after calculator watch and the prized Sony walkman, this film takes you on a crazy ride back in time – for about five minutes, and then all of that 1981 perfection settles into the background and we are focused on the characters, as it should be.

The four young actors in the film are absolutely delightful all the way to the big confession scene near the end.  The mother and father in this film are also amazing, playing your average imperfect parents who love their child and want the best for their family.  It is narrated in perfection by an unknown male – possibly the real Ricardo Trogi who wrote and directed this film based on his own experiences.

So, does Ricardo get the girl in the end?  Let’s just say that 11 year old girls are wily creatures, and I’d bet money that Anne Tremblay was a Scorpio.

Now available on DVD and Amazon Instant Video.

From → Reviews

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