Simon Birch

3 out of 10


Live-Action "Southpark" Without The Gags

Once every few years, a film comes along that really tugs at your heartstrings - well, this certainly ISN'T IT!

Simon Birch is a "Kenny-style" figure of fun in a small American town whose pathos knows no bounds. Suffering from a disease that makes him a dwarf child, he's rejected as a joke by the entire town, including his parents. Only the local easy slag (his best friend's mother) takes him seriously until he kills her accidentally in a baseball game.

125 minutes of "Middle America" sentimentality set in the 1960's, "when things were better", this is Disney-style smultz at its worst. Indeed, unlike the bozos on the screen, it doesn't take Einstein to work out its only mystery, namely who his pal's father is. Here, an overly long one-joke film, largely dependant on silly facial expressions, has been padded out with flashy shots of people standing in front of brightly lit windows to the point that the audience begins to break ranks and starts slipping out the exits after about the one hour mark.

Frankly, instead of the endless piano lift music which ceaselessly rattles on, some canned laughter and a billing as a sick comedy might have made it a bit more endurable.

Passable if you're into watching crippled kids for 2 hours

Film Critic: Robert L Thompsett