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     Volume 1 Issue 11 | October 15, 2006 |


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Movie Review

How to Eat Fried Worms

Shamma M. Raghib

Genre: Family and Comedy
Running Time: 84 mins
Cast: Thomas Cavanagh, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, Luke Benward, Philip Bolden, Nick Krause, Ryan Malgarini, Ty Panitz Ruth and Hallie Kate Eisenberg.
Director: Bob Dolman
Rated: PG
Campus Rating: 5/10 (What more would you expect for a gross kids movie?)

Why did I close my eyes so much while watching How To Eat Fried Worms, a supposedly harmless little family film? Because I hate worms, no matter how fried they are! Still, I have to admit being entertained by the little kids involved in all this nonsense, and unfortunately I'm happy to report “no worms were harmed while making this movie.”

How To Eat Fried Worms is a movie based on Thomas Rockwell's immensely popular book. The show starts with Billy (Luke Benward), an 11-year-old boy who faces a challenge on his first day at a new school. Joe (a menacingly funny Adam Hicks), the school bully, and his allies place worms in Billy's thermos. In an act of bravery and comeback, Billy says he eats worms all the time. And this leads to a bet that he can't eat TEN worms all in one day. If he fails, he will have to walk around school with worms in his pants. If he wins, Joe will have to do the Mr. Wormy Pants stroll.

The movie comes up with all new ways of things to be done to a poor little worm to prepare it for digestion! This movie probably exhausts that list, not to mention worms being doused with marshmallows, barbecued, blended and put in an omelet! Yuck! I get nauseous just thinking about the slimy ugly creatures sliding down my throat, no matter how disgustingly disguised. But so does Billy. You see, he just happens to have a weak stomach. Also, although this is a cute and funny movie, I wish fewer worms had to be eaten. Ten worms are one time too many!

Much credit for the movie's success goes to Benward our Mr. Billy boy! Because of this youngster's acting, I felt bad for the Billy character he played, even though he himself is partially to blame for it. But, I absolutely loved watching Billy! I loved the way he put down those nincompoop bullies!

Benward says that even if someone is totally grossed out by watching this, “The movie has a message about friendship, bravery and standing up for yourself.” Being an adult, I kind of forgot how I made friends while I was young…but certainly not with fried worms!

Erika (Hallie Kate Eisenberg) is all out to help Billy win the yucky bet. Her acting may not be way too good compared to Benward, but I'm especially impressed by the way she endows her supporting character with charm and sensitivity in the midst of all the chaos!

The gang doesn't end here, along with Billy and Joe, the bunch of nonsense's includes: Twitch (Alexander Gould), Adam (Austin Rogers), Benjy (Ryan Malgarini), Bradley (Philip Bolden), Plug (Blake Garrett), Techno Mouth (Andrew Gillingham) and Donny (Alexander Agate). Each young actor proved in his own way, but Gould stands out by looking exactly like a person who should be called “Twitch,” and Malgarini is memorable for the gusto with which he plays a wannabe French chef. Ty Panitz is also a riot as Billy's irritating little brother!

Unfortunately, there are not much adults as you would expect in a disgusting comedy like this apart form the mom, dad, principal and Andrea Martin (form My Big Fat Greek Wedding) makes the most of her brief appearance as a teacher obsessed with Egyptology!

Unfortunately, for some adults, it might not suit to their taste, but the kids in our teenage hearts will certainly love every second of this, specially as the scene takes off right form the bet in a never-ending worm-eating mania! If kids don't eat this movie up, I am ready to eat ten fried worms!

Copyright (R) thedailystar.net 2006