Writer: Spenser Fritz (Screenplay)
Starring: Sark Asadourian, Jason London, Jenna von Oy, Valeria Jane Parker, Christa Beth Campbell, Aaron Munoz, Avary Anderson
Plot: It’s 1996 and 4th grader, Cecil Stevens, is reminded of his terrible lisp every time he says his name. To avoid social travesty, Cecil decides to change his hard to pronounce name to the one and only, Michael Jordan.
Runtime: 1 Hour 20 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Will Make the Kids Laugh
Story: Cecil starts when Cecil Stevens (Asadourian) starts a new school, joined by Abby (Campbell) who fills him in with the dos and don’ts of school to make it through the day, which includes trying to help Cecil with his lisp which makes his name impossible to say without showing his lisp. Abby suggests using a different name, the one he picks is Michael Jordan.
Michael soon rising in popularity in the school, which starts a trend for the kids to change their names, while working with Abby to learn a deeper problem within the school hierarchy.
Thoughts on Cecil
Characters – Cecil is the new kid in school, he has a terrible lisp which sees him becoming an easy target for bullies, he does discover he can change his name, which helps him fit in more. Cecil must learn to accept his difference and being friends with everyone in the school isn’t going to be easy. Abby writes the school newspaper and helps Cecil learn the lay of the land of the school, while she investigates why the school is going through the number of cuts it is. Tim and Lorrie are the parents that are going through their own problems which has led to Cecil needing to change school.
Performances – Sark Asadourian and Christa Beth Campbell as our leading children performers are both strong in their roles because we can see they are enjoying themselves while being these characters. the adult actors know when to be over the top which will help the target audience enjoy the film.
Story – The story here focuses on the school life of young Cecil Stevens as he must adapt to a new school with a lisp which the bullies are taking as an easy target. We deal with issues such as popularity in school, accepting your own imperfections and the friends who are true to you in life. Sure, the story is targeted towards the young audience, which explains certain storytelling decisions going on through the film. We get to learn about the struggles of personal lives of children who are in the middle of their own parent’s relationship problems too. It would be easy to argue that one of the teachers, Ms Baker is way too much to take for any student.
Comedy/Family – The comedy in the film comes from the mishaps from the school, it might not be for the older audience, but the kids will enjoy the laughs coming from the film.
Settings – The film is set in and around the school setting which shows how big and complicated life can become for any of the kids growing up at the time.
Final Thoughts – This is one of the films that hits the perfect target audience, the kids will get the laughs required and learn the life lessons about treating people equally.
Overall: The kids will enjoy this one.