By Bruce Fretts
August 24, 2001 at 04:00 AM EDT
type
  • Movie
Genre

In the gutbustingly funny 1992 episode ”The Bubble Boy,” Seinfeld tiptoed on the bad-taste borderline by depicting the immunity-free title character as a surly adult whose face was never shown on camera. It’s a measure of ”Bubble Boy”’s clanking literalmindedness that its hero, Jimmy Livingston (Jake Gyllenhaal), is a naïve manchild whose plight is simultaneously mocked and sentimentalized. Ill-advisedly choosing to play Jimmy as if he’s also mentally challenged, Gyllenhaal delivers a performance that’s as uneven as his character’s inexplicably asymmetrical haircut.

First-time director Blair Hayes and writers Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio send Jimmy on a cross-country trip to stop his girl-next-door love (Marley Shelton, a Heather Graham without the gravitas) from marrying another guy. Along the way, the filmmakers not only insult people with Autoimmune Deficiency Syndrome but also spew out grotesque stereotypes of Christians, Jews, Latinos, Asians, and sideshow performers. After enduring only a few minutes of this shrill debacle, you’ll feel more trapped in the theater than Jimmy is by his bubble.

type
  • Movie
Genre
mpaa
  • PG-13
runtime
  • 84 minutes
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