Michael Sauter
March 22, 1996 AT 05:00 AM EST

He’s overweight, underconfident, and in love from afar with the school’s cutest cheerleader. He sounds common, but what separates Angus (Talbert) from most awkward adolescents is a mordant sense of humor and doggedly resilient spirit. As this misfit struggles through his suburban school days, adults may recognize excruciating moments from their childhoods. Kids, however, will be impressed with how Angus bounces back from those embarrassments. In fact, preteens could even rent Angus for pointers on surviving junior high. If enough do, they might turn this surprising comedy into the sleeper hit it deserved to be in theaters.

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