Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Movie with Abe: Eat Wheaties!

Eat Wheaties
Directed by Scott Abramovitch
Released April 30, 2021

Not everyone is able to see how they’re perceived by the world. It’s also possible that people put too much weight into what others think, and allow their lives to be guided by societal pressures and a need to be liked and admired. Whether it’s good or bad, there are certain things that are defined as normal behavior, and those who do not practice them are often judged, mocked, or shunned by an unaccepting public. Typically, such individuals do mean well, and taking the time to get to know them can offer a very worthwhile and important new perspective.

Sid Straw (Tony Hale) is an overeager man without any real friends who gets put in charge of his college reunion. Told by his co-chair that he needs to have an online presence, he signs up for Facebook, where he comes upon a fan page for his old classmate, actress Elizabeth Banks. Unaware that his messages to her aren’t private, he begins writing a series of notes about his life to her, signing each one with the token line he accredits to her, “Eat Wheaties!” As the reunion approaches, Sid’s life spirals out of control as he learns the harsh truth about the unforgiving nature of a world unwilling to accept those who don’t conform.

This film boasts an outstanding cast, ensuring that no scene is absent a familiar face to join the affable Hale. Among the highlights are David Walton as Sid’s sympathetic brother and Elisha Cuthbert as his wife, who really detests Sid, Paul Walter Hauser as a lawyer sympathetic to Sid’s experience, Sarah Burns as a prospective love interest, and Danielle Brooks as a waitress at Sid’s go-to restaurant. The ensemble helps to make this an entertaining experience, even if it’s one that involves many cringe-worthy moments where Ted’s questionable decisions and actions are made even worse by the harsh response they receive from those within and outside his orbit.

There is a tremendous amount of heart to be found under the surface layer of this film, which doesn’t paint Sid in a great light and shows the depressing journey he takes from being perfectly content to watching his life fall apart. Fortunately, his story isn’t one that travels only downwards, and it’s fun and affirming to see him fight for himself, even if he still isn’t able to fully grasp what it is that he didn’t do right. As a call for acceptance, this film works well, and it’s good to have this lighthearted opportunity to root for the underdog.


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