Grant McLellan, Eric Lauritzen, Elise Angell, Pearce Joza, Micah Lyons and Vince DonVito DIRECTED BY
Doug Bilitch SCREENPLAY
Marilyn Anderson, Richard Rossner MPAA RATING
NR RUNNING TIME
83 Mins. DISTRIBUTED BY
Billed as Home Alone meets Big Fat Liar, How to Beat a Bully is a fun little family friendly film that has received the Dove Foundation's Seal of Approval for Families and is all set for a DVD on April 5th with indie distributor Indie Rights with exclusive DVD availability through Wal-Mart. In the film, Cory (Grant McLellan) is the new kid in town and forced to defend himself from town bullies. To do so, he lies and says that his father is a hit man for the mob. The only problem is that when the real mob gets wind of someone new encroaching on their territory, they don't take kindly to it and before long Cory's father has been taken by the mob and Cory and his friends have to do whatever it takes to get his dad back.
In case you're unaware, the Dove Foundation's Seal of Approval is an almost guaranteed sign that a film is either faith-based, family friendly or both. Not so much a statement of quality, it's far more a statement of a film's being suitable for viewing by the entire family.
This is not to say that How to Beat a Bully is a bad film. In fact, it's quite fun in places. However, the film is an obvious low-budget effort and if you're a "studio only" moviegoer you may find yourself unsatisfied with the finished product.
How to Beat a Bully may very well resonate most with the pre-teen/tween crowd, though you should probably be aware that there's a little bit of potty humor (nothing obscene) toward the film's end. The film's ensemble of actors may not pick up any acting prizes for their work here, but they for the most part get the job done and the kids are relaxed enough to come off rather convincingly. While some may question the wisdom of a film that, at times, seems to make light of bullying, rest assured that its heart is in the right place and its anti-bullying stance comes across loud and clear.
Watch for How to Beat a Bully at Wal-Mart on April 5th.