Ah, to be a high school freshman. Remember those wonderful days when your hormones ruled your life? If you've forgotten, or if you're one of those annoying bastards who just cruised through your adolescence, have I got a movie for you!
"Angus" is a new movie about that trying teenage year, and it's one of the best movie treatments of the pain of fitting in that I've seen since that classic of the "kid struggling to make it" genre, "Fast Times at Ridgemont High". Not that "Angus" is a classic or anything. It's just that the vast majority of these kind of films stink.
Young Charlie Talbert stars as the hero of our tale, Angus Bethune. Angus is the worst of all high school animals, the freshman. Although he's a terrific football player, and an all-star science student, Angus is still having trouble fitting in. He's a bit overweight, and is secretly in love with the freshman class queen, Melissa. She, of course, is completely unaware of Angus' existence, and to make matters worse, she's dating the class stud, Rick. Rick is a complete jerk, and is basically Angus' mortal enemy.
As the big Winter Ball approaches, Rick and his cronies rig the vote, and Angus is made the King of the dance. Melissa is made Queen, setting up the big showdown. Will Angus overcome his sweating problem? Will his little nerd buddy, Troy, help him become a "pathetic virgin with a new look"? Will Angus' crusty grandfather, George C. Scott, help with the plan? Let's just say, those pimples go a poppin'!
The catch with "Angus" is that there's some genuine emotional angst going on during the movie that keeps the whole experience interesting. Charlie Talbert is very good as Angus, and anyone that remembers the pain of that time will probably like at least some of this movie. Speaking personally, I just loved the part when George C. Scott pulled off his pair of white gloves and pimped slapped poor Angus for ruining his place of honor and being a damn coward. Boy, did that take me by surprise!
Copyright 1995 John A. Lavin
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