Front of the Class (2008)
Reader Rating (Rate Here): [Total: 2 Average: 5/5]
Cast: James Wolk, Treat Williams, Patricia Heaton, Sarah Drew, Dominic Scott Kay, Mike Pniewski
Front of the Class is the type of movie you should watch when you are depressed and life isn’t being fair. It will not change your life completely but will motivate you to shrug it off and keep on moving steadily towards your goal.
Front of the class is based on the book by Brad Cohen, Front of the Class: How Tourette Syndrome Made Me the Teacher I Never Had, co-authored by Lisa Wysocky and adapted to the screen by Thomas Rickman. The movie is narrated by Brad Cohen (James Wolk) and starts with a glimpse into his life where a 12 year old Brad (Dominic Scott) lives in Missouri with his divorcee mother Ellen and younger brother Jeff.
In school, Brad is laughed at and bullied by other kids because of his disability. His dad, like his teachers who don’t know about Brad’s disease initially berate him thinking that he is a naughty kid and is making the noises and tics on purpose. And because of this he often is the most ‘Out’standing kid in a literal sense. Ellen tries a lot of doctors, some people even suggest exorcism! Finally after discovering the name of the disease she realizes there isn’t a cure for it. Attending support group motivates Brad to be not like them and instead be successful.
He grows up with the ambition of becoming a teacher but in every interview Tourette’s syndrome comes in his way. After 24 interviews he finally gets his dream job and what follows is a sweet little inspirational story of a man fighting against all odds.
The movie is simple and to the point. Peter Werner is brilliant in that he has not added unnecessary emotion or drama- the pace is brisk. The dramatic moments are in fact inspiring and believable. The movie is about Brad’s struggle with Tourette and how he overcomes and nothing more. The end result is not a world conquering event but given the struggle and the scope it is very inspiring. The movie could have done with better editing and also could have been produced on a bit larger scale as nobody really knows about this movie and everyone could do with a bit of inspiration.
The cast is spot on with a special praise for Dominic Scott playing the younger version of Brad, he is a natural and so is Treat Williams playing his father. But the movie belongs to debutante Jimmy Wolk. There is a flair and a rawness that Jimmy brought into the easy going and humorous Brad Cohen.
Front of the Class is a must watch movie: it will motivate you to pursue your dream relentlessly in spite of all the hurdles that come in your way.