Angus (1995)

Genres - Drama, Romance  |   Sub-Genres - Teen Movie, Coming-of-Age, Buddy Film, Romantic Comedy  |   Run Time - 87 min.  |   Countries - Germany , France , United Kingdom , United States   |   MPAA Rating - PG13
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Upon its release, Angus was virtually ignored, even by its target audience. But who could be surprised? After all, on the surface the film appears to be just another in the long line of fluffy teen comedies that heavily populated theaters in the 1990s. However, Angus is no run-of-the-mill high-school flick. Devoid of the unrealistic characters found in everything from She's All That to American Pie, the movie takes the genre and puts three-dimensional people into a familiar story line. And while not as unflinchingly true-to-life as Todd Solondz' Welcome to the Dollhouse, Angus is more fun and less bleak than that film, while maintaining a refreshingly atypical tone. The character of Angus isn't just the unpopular fat kid who longs for the prettiest girl in school. He's a complex and sympathetic character who learns to love himself for himself. More importantly though, the idealized pretty girl proves to be anything but perfect, a twist that's otherwise unheard of in any of the other ubiquitous PG-13 teen comedies of the era. Finally, the believability factor is driven home by the performances of not just the always wonderful Kathy Bates and George C. Scott, but the film's titular young star Charlie Talbert. Watching the film, it's hard to believe that Angus was Talbert's first attempt at acting after being discovered by the director in a fast-food joint.