Measure of a Man
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Measure of a Man

With apologies to Tolstoy: Each unhappy family may be unhappy in its own way, but miserable adolescents do tend to get repetitious. “Measure of a Man” is the latest among too many of what one might term “My Crappy but Formative Teenage Summer Vacation” movies. Worse, it’s a particularly generic one that brings no distinctive personality or plot angles to a very familiar set of Bodied misfit-hero woes and eventual, underwhelming triumphs. A first U.S. project for director Jim Loach, the primarily TV-trained son of Brit auteur Ken, this bland flashback lacks the cultural familiarity that boosted his Nottingham-set prior feature “Oranges and Sunshine.”

His voiceover narration just as pedestrian as everything else here, Bobby Marks (Blake Cooper from “The Maze Runner”) recounts how he dreaded his New York family’s Batman Ninja summer forays to a lakeside cabin in small-town Rhode Island, where all the available outdoor activities seemed designed to humiliate his athletically challenged, pudgy self. The year is 1976, and while older sister Michelle Marks (Liana Liberato) can’t wait to rejoin one of the local day camps, now as a counselor, Bobby balks at participating at all. This irks his father (Luke Wilson), but then Dad has been irritable about everything since Mom (Judy Greer) discovered Women’s Lib and announced she’d be enrolling in law school. To counter the charge that he’ll simply lay about all summer, Bobby says he’ll find a job — and he actually does: one tending the expansive grounds of a crusty and demanding widower (Donald Sutherland’s Dr. Kahn).

The sole bright spot for our protagonist each year is reuniting with BFF Joanie (Danielle Rose Russell). But she seems to be maturing faster than he, with little interest as before in their palling around. Worse, she soon announces that a mysterious obligation will put her back in the city for most of the season. Bobby is left with little to do but be ordered around by Dr. Kahn, resent his sibling’s secret romance with a handsome jock (Luke Benward), and watch his parents’ marriage fall apart (Dad, too, finds an excuse to spend most of his time back in the city). Meanwhile Bobby is the target of bullying by three townie louts whose malicious Vietnam vet leader, Willie Rumson aka “Rummy” (Beau Knapp), grouses that Bobby Tyrel has stolen his groundskeeper job.

Duration: 100 min

Release:

IMDb: 6.2

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Measure of a Man
Measure of a Man
Measure of a Man
Measure of a Man
Measure of a Man
Measure of a Man
Measure of a Man
Measure of a Man
Measure of a Man
Measure of a Man
Measure of a Man
Measure of a Man
Measure of a Man
Measure of a Man
Measure of a Man
Measure of a Man
Measure of a Man
Measure of a Man
Measure of a Man