The Fat Boy Chronicles (2010) Poster

User Reviews

Review this title
15 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
A teenage boy decides to better his life and lose weight.
followmepro3 July 2010
This film was a great example of what kids really go through in school. When you watch this film you will think that this must be way worse then it really is. Then remind ourself this is based on true events. Kids can be cruel. It is the only way they can vent their own pain sometimes. I hope that everyone gets a chance to see this film with their kids and be able to talk to them about what is going on in their lives. Maybe use this film as a middle ground to understand your teenagers a little better. For the budget and the heart behind this film, I recommend "The Fat Boy Chronicles" to anyone that wants a good family film. This film was written by two ex-teachers that have finally gotten a chance to speak out for the children they care so much for.
12 out of 15 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Must see!!
tomiswho27 December 2011
This is a must-see. As a retired high school teacher I am very aware of how cruel students can be to one another. Mr. Winn has done an amazing job directing and putting this film together. An important statement! Bravo! What is the thing that sets you apart from the "norm" and gets you teased/bullied? Are you overweight, acne covered, shy, a band nerd, a geek? Is your religion different from most of the other students? In the US right now (late 2011) much bullying is being made based on a persons income, social status, political leanings..... A sad state of affairs to be sure. I will add, that under the current economic conditions and political climate, most of the bullying in public schools is the administration bullying the teachers. Sad but true. Tom
13 out of 17 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Honest, uplifting indie about teen obesity & bullying
jeffwmarker1 January 2012
"The Fat Boy Chronicles" is a low budget movie making a big impact. Based on a novel of the same title by Lang Buchanan (the pen name of writing partners Diane Lang and Michael Buchanan), director Jason Winn's movie tells the story of an over-weight high schooler named Jimmy (Christopher Rivera). Already tired of being bullied and feeling awful about himself, Jimmy visits Dr. Jeffords (Ron Lester), who tells him the cold, hard truth: that the longer Jimmy remains obese, the harder it will be to lose the weight and the more health problems he will encounter. And eventually, Jimmy is going to die young.

Jimmy's visit with the doctor is one of the film's best scenes. Ron Lester used to be known as the fat guy from "Varsity Blues." By age 30 he weighed 508 pounds. He had found a Hollywood niche as the lovable fat kid but was headed for an early death. So when Lester as Dr. Jeffords tells Jimmy about the physical and emotional misery that awaits him until he dies at a relatively young age, the words pack a great deal of power.

This is the final straw for Jimmy, who commits to a weight loss program that includes a change in diet, exercise, and some work on his self-esteem. Jimmy finds the bravery to take chances socially. He starts dating a girl named Sable (Kelly Washington). He starts tutoring Robb (Cole Carson), a jock who would normally bully Jimmy if he noticed him at all. Jimmy undergoes psychological and emotional changes as he transforms physically. The movie becomes a coming-of-age story plucked out of the lives of many real teens today.

All the while, he gets wonderful support from his father (Bill Murphey). Their relationship is one of my favorite parts of the movie. Jimmy's friend Paul (Chris Bert), however, has a dad who puts him through the ringer. Paul is physically and verbally abused and falls into many of the standard traps that kids do when raised in that environment. Just like most real teens, all of these characters have troubles of one kind or another. Does anyone go through adolescence without pain? No one that I know, at least. "The Fat Boy Chronicles" deserves a lot of praise for recognizing that whether you're fat or skinny, popular or a nobody, growing up is hard for everyone.

This is a vital, timely movie. Unfortunately, Jimmy's prognosis is something that applies to a lot of American youth. According to the CDC, childhood obesity rates have more than tripled in the past 30 years, and in 2008, more than 1/3 of children and adolescents were overweight or obese. "The Fat Boy Chronicles" takes an accurate, truthful approach to dramatizing the causes and effects of this trend. It's the food at home and at school, it's the low self-esteem created by family and peers alike, it's the lack of awareness of how drastically being overweight effects our health, and there is a definite link between bullying and kids' feelings about themselves and their lack of motivation to change.

I'm probably making the movie sound preachy, but it isn't. Nor is it a public service announcement or after school special in disguise. It's a touching drama that just happens to be built on these themes. It's a legit movie earning an impressive amount of acclaim. It has been shown at too many film festivals to list. It has been featured on news programs throughout the eastern half of the U.S. And it has been shown at numerous high schools and church youth group events, which is part of a release strategy aimed at taking the movie to the viewers who would relate to it the most.

"The Fat Boy Chronicles" is also launching the careers of its actors and director. Rivera has since appeared in an episode of Law & Order: SVU. Washington has appeared on "Parks and Recreation" and two features. Winn also seems poised to break through after working for many years as a cinematographer on music videos, commercials, and independent features and shorts. It's always a treat as movie fans to catch talent on the way up, and this is definitely an opportunity to do that.
9 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Making a Change in Bullying and Obesity
ukcats328 December 2011
THIS MOVIE HAS CHANGED LIVES. And will continue to do so. I have been at school screenings of this movie and seen the emotional impact it has on students and adults. Schools/communities/churches who have shown the film report that kids finally understand the power of their words and how harmful their actions can be. Bullies have changed their behavior, "bystanders" speak up for those who need a voice, and bullied kids realize there is hope for tomorrow. With all the emphasis on searching for a solution to bullying, this movie and the book that it was adapted from would be a good place to start. Schools that read the book and follow with a special movie screening have seen a positive impact upon students. Many bullied kids have written the filmmakers to say that now people treat them better. "Thank you for making this movie," one overweight student told the director and writers. What this film does best is get students actively, and emotionally, involved in creating a better future for their generation.
5 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Excellent movie families with teens and middle school -high school audiences
njbermel29 December 2011
Don't miss the opportunity to see this! It's not just about being fat! Compelling story line touches on so many issues that teens struggle with. Story has many lessons, but the story rolls out in such a natural way that the it doesn't feel like you are learning lessons. You are engaged with the characters every minute. Lessons of empathy come naturally through the story line. The whole movie carries you to a new way of thinking and speaks to everyone in the audience. Powerful impact: it's worth every minute! The novel is an excellent companion, powerful read for any teen or adult, and great classroom tool. Teachers and administrators: Don't wait to add this to your curriculum. Youth Group leaders, pastors: add this to your program now!
5 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
488th Review: Good and not too preachy
intelearts11 February 2012
TFBC is a good movie about being the outsider that avoids, while having a positive and even inspiring message, condescending or patronizing its audience. It is certainly one of the better teenage drama movies out there.

It tackles a number of difficult issues with alacrity - it doesn't avoid the locker culture, but it doesn't push everything into the realms of fantasy either. It scores major points for being focused on the teens and succeeds in being their worldview that's shown rather than an adult's conception of it.

All in all, there are some excellent performances backed up with a strong script and while this is the sort of film that social studies classes might want to watch, it's also a really nice movie in itself and deserves to be enjoyed by a wide audience.
3 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Uninspiring but interesting
fmwongmd23 July 2019
Based on a true story but choppy in its presentation. Acting is pedestrian.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
True, Relevant, and Inspirational
ironman-353921 May 2015
I watched this movie, and at first, I was skeptical. However, I watched this movie with an open mind and found it to be rather inspirational. It highlights the struggle of a 9th grader to turn his life around. I remember what it was like to be in high school and to be "unpopular", but this young man had it even worse than I could have ever imagined. The struggle to lose weight, overcome depression, and to ultimately rise above ones own difficult circumstances are what make this movie not only inspirational, but also a MUST SEE for those who have children struggling with weight, or even just difficulty fitting in at school. This movie offers hope to young people that if your mind changes, your body can change. This movie is truly inspirational and I highly recommend it.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Too poorly made to be taken seriously, despite the good intentions.
CinematicInceptions28 April 2015
Warning: Spoilers
I know that this film had good intentions and was not very well funded, but that does not do anything to make it a better movie. We have seen low budget movies have good and even great outcomes in both financial and rating aspects. It is understandable if a low budget restrains filmmakers from hiring HQ actors and having good spfx, but it doesn't mean that the script and directing should be bad. Low budget does not excuse Fat Boy Chronicles bad story, terrible directing, and very poor script. I know it's based on a book, but they could have made the story much more cohesive and understandable.

Before I get into the things that this movie could have done better, I'll explain why I think you can dislike the film and not seem hateful toward fat people. The main reason is that the message, while clear, does not come across well, mainly from storytelling and technical problems. The one spot of redemption was the use of the journal Jimmy has to write for English class. The primary thing to do when making a movie with a message in it is to make sure people are going to actually respect your movie, then you can worry about making social reform statements.

As you can probably guess from the title, the story is about an overweight kid who wants to lose weight and has to deal with the ridicule he gets. There are a couple of subplots, involving some kidnapped girl on the news and a bunch of pictures of Jimmy's sister being put up all over the school, but neither was explained well enough for me to figure out what their significance was. There isn't really a storyline to it, unless you count Jimmy's relationship with Sable and Paul's domestic issues. Apart from that, it's just a bunch of clichéd incidents where Jimmy gets picked on for being fat.

I felt that the characters were very poorly written, with the possible exception of Paul. They tried to give Sable a personality, but it resulted in her character being very one dimensional. Rob, the quarterback, had a very implausible progression in becoming Jimmy's friend and bodyguard. Jimmy's sister was perhaps the worst character since she had an uncalled for scowl on her face the whole movie. Even Jimmy was written pretty badly, especially considering that the whole point of the movie was to discourage teasing fat kids. Making Jimmy act like kind of an idiot the entire movie makes you almost want him to get picked on. Also, he's the only kid at the school with a weight problem, apart from the one other kid he eats lunch with who somehow seems to escape ridicule.

The unsatisfactory script paired with the poor directing and acting doesn't help at all. Directing problems are less frequent, but there are a couple of classroom scenes where Jimmy and Sable are talking and the rest of the class is dead silent. But there are a lot of problems with the script and acting. Firstly, the actors either give too little emotion or way too much emotion into their lines. Secondly, the dialogue doesn't advance the plot nearly enough. Hemingway might have had the right idea with his one-eighth of the iceberg theory, but the script here gives you about one-tenth. Also, whenever more mature concepts come up, the dialogue is written like it's going to be in some fictional sexual assault education video. I get it that they may not want to include profanity or whatever, but the fact is that high-schoolers don't talk like that. This leads into the overriding problem with the script: it's just not realistic. In real life, the class isn't going to chant "piggy" while Jimmy just stands there in front of them. Jimmy describes Sable by the color of her clothes, and you don't have to be a brain surgeon to know why that doesn't describe what someone looks like. Finally, there were too many church scenes. It seemed like the filmmakers didn't want to come right out and say that they were religiously affiliated, but putting the most emotional scene in the movie at church (with that one dude giving the big, fervent AMEN in it) was kind of a giveaway.

So, I don't recommend that almost anyone watch this. I'm sure some people are moved by it, but Breakfast Club is a much better option in that regard. Saying that you're wrong to like this movie would be going much too far, but I can safely say that it is not a good work of cinema.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Good movie
wannes489 June 2014
And I don't say this often.

Sometimes I give a 9 or even a 10 because I liked the movie.

This wasn't the case this time.

I find it hard to understand the negative reviews, because I think in this 75 minutes movie, there is a lot of reality.

OK, it wasn't a big dollar movie, but in it's 75 minutes real situations were told, real emotions were expressed.

And that is what I like in a movie.

This movie, although it didn't concern me personally, was great.

A lesson.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
The original idea must have been good
LeoDRK17 February 2014
Warning: Spoilers
This movie takes on a complex subject: obesity and bullying. I guess the intention of the film maker was good. The movie tries to remark a positive view. While the underlying message is to keep fighting for making things work. And that is praiseworthy. But that's the only positive thing about this movie.

The dialogs are hard to believe. Specially because they are presented as a sequence of speeches hard to connect with each other. After each scene I found myself wondering if someone could ever say something like that. Using those words in such a context. I guess that's why I didn't see any character in this movie. Mainly there were actors speaking their lines, sometimes laughing, sometimes crying. But it was hard to connect the same character between scenes.

I guess the original idea must have been good.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
At Least in the Top 10 Worst Movies ever made...
MovieKev8520 December 2012
This film is seriously awful. Yes, not ALL movies can be these high budget star powered features but that does not mean a script should lack standards in every way possible or that viewers should simply cheapen their standards as moviegoers. As many have pointed out the acting is one HUGE problem. Ordinarily I try to forgive acting if the script is at least decent but the greatest actor in the world could not make the ridiculous dialogue in this movie work. I haven't rolled my eyes this much during a film in a long time. There is no characterization at all but rather basic 1-0-1 caricatures of the typical high school scene. Ultimately this film does not work because it contains characters we know nothing about and basically no real story. The only interesting character and only slightly decent actor in this film is the main character's best friend and even his story goes nowhere. This film plays out like a desperate platform to point out all things teenagers go through without having the courage to really dig deep. It's a very boring, surfaced approach. There's the typical jock who isn't good at academia, the dark goth girl who reads all the time and cuts herself, the fat kid who is self conscious and wants acceptance, the embarrassed sibling, the other fat kid (who in this film we literally know nothing about)...all the parts are there but it seems only because the writers are taking from other films that do it much better. In the end the movie basically rewards conformity instead of individuality. Losing weight for health reasons is fine but this movie really pushes the notion that if you want to be accepted then don't be fat and with that being any overweight person's motivation realistically they will NEVER be successful with fitting in if they're not losing weight for themselves first and foremost. There will always be bullies somewhere pointing out another flaw. The character never really stands his ground but instead just keeps trying to become what he thinks others want. Eventually yes, things change but ridiculously so. Over time the jock warms up to the main character but note only AFTER the main overweight kid helps him start passing math. Why couldn't the jock simply start to try to understand the overweight kid somehow and then see life through his eyes? Oh but that would require characterization. There are many movies who take on this subject matter and do it the right way with characters that act unexpectedly but who surprise us REALISTICALLY. I would suggest obviously "Angus" as one to see instead of this film and also I think "Lucas" and the original "Karate Kid" are a couple others that contain much stronger scripts and realistic approaches.
1 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Okay but a bit preachy!
Sylviastel15 May 2013
I bought this film because it's about bullying for an overweight boy. He weighed 188 pounds and has started high school. He hates school but hates himself more. The actor who plays him does a fabulous job in the role. You feel for his character and sympathize with him. His teacher insists that everybody including himself write in his journal. He begins to explore life and friendship with Paul and a girl named Sable. He tutors a jock named Robb. Unlike Paul, he comes from a religious functional family with both parents at home. His best friend Paul's parents are divorced and his father is an alcoholic. Sable appears to have her own problems. The movie is about self-loathing especially in world's standards of beauty and physical presentation.
0 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
smokeitup42119 August 2012
I was really hoping this movie would be like the movie Angus. The movie with the smart but awkward fat guy that prevails. But, this movie was nothing like that at all. This movie was very linear with not much background about the characters except the protagonist's best friend coming from a troubled household. I was expect maybe a humorous or some kind of witty line. But, nope not at all. This movie was just downright depressing. I think as an extra on the Blu-Ray release they should have like a video with like Green Day on stage playing the J.A.R song from the Angus soundtrack and like have the cast of this film in the audience rocking out to it and like have bubbles and confetti. The kids could be like hanging out. The kid and his girlfriend and the jock dude be like "hey is that Green Day?" and then they start. Nice way to bring your spirits back up.
0 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
I Still Don't Know What To Think
heather-375-42248921 May 2012
As a child, I was bullied for the same reasons as the main character. I didn't like how everything suddenly became okay in the end. Life is not like that, you can't just decide to change things and have them eventually be okay. There are always bullies, there are always people being put down for one reason or another. One movie is not going to change that. But I suppose it is a start.

One thing I really disliked about the story is the characters made changes to fit in with society. Real courage, in my opinion, occurs when someone stands their ground, plants their feet, raises their voice and shouts "I will not change to better fit your perceptions of NORMAL!" We are all human, beautiful as we are both inside and out. I don't like preachy movies that tell you to gain acceptance by losing weight if you're fat. Sometimes, problems go a lot deeper than that. It can take years of counseling to erase the psychological scars of peer torture, poor self body image, and depression. Better to love ourselves FIRST and THEN affect change (if so we choose) because that is REAL change, not transient.

There were a lot of positive messages in the movie, however, which I suppose was the point. To me, any of the good was lost in the profound naivete this movie showed about high school and real life situations in particular.
0 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews

Recently Viewed