[Screen It]

 

"BUBBLE BOY"
(2001) (Jake Gyllenhaal, Swoosie Kurtz) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Moderate Moderate Extreme Minor Mild
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild None Mild Mild Moderate
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Heavy Minor Mild Moderate *Moderate


QUICK TAKE:
Comedy: After the girl of his dreams announces she's to be married in Niagara Falls, a young, immunodeficient man in a plastic bubble sets out on a cross-country trip to stop her, despite having lived his entire life in a protective envelope inside his bedroom.
PLOT:
Jimmy Livingston (JAKE GYLLENHAAL) is a young man who's lived his entire life in his bedroom in a protective, germ-free bubble due to having an immunity deficiency since birth. While his parents (SWOOSIE KURTZ and JOHN CARROLL LYNCH) have fulfilled most all of his needs, Mrs. Livingston's well-intentioned but misguided ways have left him with a warped sense of reality.

His best friend is Chloe (MARLEY SHELTON), the pretty girl next door, and while the two of them are very close, she decides to marry a local jerk, Mark (DAVE SHERIDAN), her boyfriend from the past several years. Realizing he must tell Chloe how he feels about her, Jimmy then builds a mobile bubble suit and proceeds on a cross-country trip to stop the wedding that's to take place in just three days in Niagara Falls.

Unfortunately, Jimmy has no way to get there, but then finds various people willing to help him out or at least take him part of the way. Among them is a busload of cult members from the Bright and Shiny sect who are off to see their leader, Gil (FABIO), as well as Slim (DANNY TREJO), a macho Hispanic biker. After various moments and adventures with them, he runs into Dr. Phreak (VERNE TROYER) and his traveling "freak" show, as well as Pushpak (BRIAN GEORGE) an Indian ice cream and curry truck driver and Pappy (PATRICK CRANSHAW), an old taxi driver.

As the hours count down to the wedding and Mrs. Livingston sets out to find and retrieve her son, Jimmy does what he can to make it to the nuptials and stop Chloe from marrying Mark, all while finally experiencing the real world outside his normal, sheltered life.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Many younger ones probably will due to the title and the ads that make it look like a kid-friendly film.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For language and crude sexual humor.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • JAKE GYLLENHAAL plays a na´ve and wide-eyed young man who finally gets to see the country after growing up his entire life inside a protective bubble designed to protect him from germs.
  • SWOOSIE KURTZ plays his well-intentioned, but misguided and overzealous mother who desperately wants to protect her boy from the reality of the outside world and shows her true and misinformed colors while doing so. She uses some profanity.
  • JOHN CARROLL LYNCH plays Jimmy's mostly silent father who accompanies his wife in looking for him.
  • MARLEY SHELTON plays the girl next door and good friend who breaks Jimmy's heart when she announces she's going to marry Mark. She's drunk in one scene.
  • DAVE SHERIDAN plays the jerk that Chloe intends to marry. He makes fun of Jimmy's condition and smokes a few times.
  • DANNY TREJO plays the Hispanic biker who gives Jimmy a ride.
  • VERNE TROYER plays a bossy and ill-tempered dwarf who runs a "freak show" that he wants Jimmy to be a part of.
  • BRIAN GEORGE plays an Indian ice cream and curry truck driver who also gives Jimmy a ride but then is distraught when he accidentally kills a cow.
  • PATRICK CRANSHAW plays an old taxi driver and biplane pilot who gives Jimmy rides toward his destination.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Here's a brief summary of the content found in this PG-13 rated comedy. Various instances of sexual material, humor and related dialogue are present, including verbal and visual references to a young man's erections (one is briefly seen in his pants), and a man making some sexual motions and sounds when indicating what he'll be doing that night with a young woman. Some brief groping occurs and some women are seen in various forms of revealing attire (including some scantily clad female mud wrestlers).

    Profanity consists of several uses of slang terms for female genitals (later explained as a woman's name, but initially believed to be such slang), along with several uses of the "s" word, and other expletives and colorful phrases. Various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes, while the film's purposefully irreverent attempts at humor may insult/offend different groups of viewers.

    Some of that involves using people with disabilities as the butts of jokes, while another bit has a Hindu man being splattered with cow blood and guts as the dead creature is repeatedly run over by various vehicles during the film's attempts at crude humor (that also include some scatological references).

    A few characters drink and pass out, another smokes and violence consists of the dead cow scene, slapstick style material, accidental and intentional property damage and some struggling. Should you still be concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone in your home, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed content listings for more specific examples of what's present in it.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Chloe sneaks into Jimmy's room at night carrying some beers and looks and acts a bit intoxicated. She then passes out on her way into Jimmy's bubble.
  • A person holds a beer in a casino.
  • Jimmy lands in front of a beer store, goes in and then asks the lady behind the counter if he can have a beer for free. She agrees (it turns out she's not the real clerk) and he takes the beer inside his suit, pops the top and either smells or barely tastes the foam and then passes out from it).
  • Some people drink at a wedding.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • One of Mark's friends jokes that he's heard that all Jimmy drinks is his own urine.
  • After Chloe tells Mark that she has to use the bathroom, he jokingly tells her, "Pinch it quick."
  • We hear, but don't see Jimmy step in some dog excrement.
  • Spotting Jimmy in his bubble suit, Slim asks him how he "takes a dump" in it.
  • Pushpak accidentally runs into and kills a cow. As he grieves over it (from a religious standpoint), a tractor-trailer comes along and drives over/through the cow, splattering cow blood, guts and/or meat all over Pushpak. We also see the dead and now separated cow on the road (with lots of blood and related gore).
  • More cow blood/guts splatter onto Pushpak as vehicles pass by/through the dead cow.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • The film and its subject matter and/or jokes may be offensive to the following people/groups: Those with immunity disorders or family members thereof, Christians (the film pokes fun at Mrs. Livingston for being a religious zealot and stamping out religious symbols and cross cookies for Jimmy to eat, stating that Chloe is not the kind of friend that Jesus would pick, etc.), people with physical deformities (called "freaks" by others and themselves, and one with flippers for hands jokes about Free Willy, etc.), Asians (a man yells out "$500 Dollars" in an exaggerated and stereotypical accent), those from India/Hindus (a man is stereotypically/comically represented as such and is then splattered with cow blood/gore in a filmmaker's attempt for laughs), etc.
  • Mrs. Livingston teaches Jimmy her version of the world (namely that it's a bad place where various fairy tale characters die after leaving their bubbles) and thus isolates him from it as much as she can. This includes her telling him that all women will leave him and questions what girl would want to marry a boy who couldn't even touch her.
  • Some local kids make fun of a young Jimmy (due to him being a "bubble boy") by wearing plastic over their bodies.
  • Mrs. Livingston has told Jimmy that Chloe is a whore (and he tells her this, causing the young girl to state she's more of a "bitch" than a whore, which then causes Jimmy - who doesn't know any better -- to repeatedly call her a bitch in this one scene).
  • Mark and a friend make fun of Jimmy, with Mark even exaggeratedly imitating the title character from "The Elephant Man" (saying, "I am not a monster. I am a human being.").
  • A bus ticket seller tells Jimmy he'll have to charge him more for "that stupid thing you're wearing."
  • Some cult members throw Jimmy from the back of their bus when they don't like him anymore.
  • Mrs. Livingston tells someone, "I'll pray that you get nut cancer" when they don't help her. She then has her husband writing a fake kidnapping note that's asking for $100,000 and is signed by "the Jews." She then gets after her husband for the amount he wrote and that no one will believe it, because "It's the Jews, Morton. They're going to want more than $100,000."
  • After running out of money at a casino, Slim tells Jimmy that he's going to steal some quarters from a blind lady.
  • A bunch of locals make fun of Pushpak and what he's eating and then act intimidating toward Jimmy until they think he's contagious.
  • Mrs. Livingston views and treats Dr. Phreak, a diminutive adult, like a child.
  • The "freaks" steal the Livingston's car, so in turn, they and Dr. Phreak steal someone else's truck.
  • Jimmy tells Pushpak that his religion (Pushpak's) is all lies (that's what his mom told him).
  • A bus of cult members purposefully backs over Slim's and others' motorcycles.
  • Mark acts rude toward Jimmy on the phone, saying he and Chloe couldn't have children and then asks, "Do you even have sperm?"
  • We see that a clerk in a convenience store is really a robber who's holding a gun on the real and now tied-up clerk.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Although played for laughs, Jimmy momentarily finds himself trapped in a burning diner (everywhere he turns or runs a new part of the fire breaks out).
  • Jimmy finds himself (in his bubble) at the brink of Niagara Falls and decides to let himself by swept over the edge (and he turns out to be fine).
  • Jimmy comes out of his bubble, kisses Chloe and then appears to die (but he's okay).
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Knife: Held/carried by Slim and used by Mrs. Livingston to pop a boy's balloon.
  • Gun: Held by a robber on a tied-up clerk.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Holy mother of sh*t," "Whore," "Bitch," "Jeez," "I suck," "Nasty little slut," "I'll pray that you get nut cancer" (what Mrs. Livingston tells someone who isn't helpful to her), "Weird ass," "Who the hell are you?" "Why don't you hop your little bubble butt back on that train?" "Screw you," "Have you been bitch slapped by a six-armed goddess?" "Let's haul ass," "Bastard," "Freak," "Back off, bitch," "What the hell are you doing here?" and "Shut up."
  • Various kids of all ages make fun of Jimmy and his condition.
  • A guy gives Jimmy "the finger" after he and others toss Jimmy (in his bubble) out of the back of a bus.
  • Slim has various tattoos on his body.
  • We see Dr. Phreak thrown from a moving truck (in a car seat that then bounces along the road before coming to a stop).
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A mild amount of such music - occurring in a playful/comical fashion - occurs in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • As Jimmy watches Chloe somewhat sensuously washing a car, a song briefly plays that has a male voice breathily stating, "Oh yeah." Later, that same song and lyrics play and add, "Oh, baby" to it.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 2 "s" words, 5 slang terms for female genitals ("poontang" - although some of them are partially interrupted by other noises and they all eventually turn out to be a woman's name), 2 slang terms for breasts ("boobies"), 4 hells, 3 asses, 2 damns, 1 S.O.B., 3 uses of "Oh my God" and 1 use of "Swear to God" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We clearly see a male infant's penis as he's wheeled through a hospital.
  • As Jimmy watches Chloe somewhat sensuously washing a car, a song briefly plays that has a male voice breathily stating, "Oh yeah." Jimmy then states he didn't know what was happening to him, and both he and we then see an erection in his pants (which scares him and causes him to hit it, causing him pain). His mom then runs into the room, spots the erection (that we no longer see) and tells him, "Just do what I tell your father, just say the Pledge of Allegiance over and over until it goes away." As the two recite it, she nervously looks down at his crotch, and after a few verses, it apparently does go down (with the MC Hammer song "Can't Touch This" then segueing into the next, unrelated scene).
  • Mark remarks about Chloe, "I wish I was the boy in her bubble."
  • Upon first meeting Chloe face to face, Jimmy stares at her chest (as does the camera) that shows a close-up of her cleavage.
  • Jimmy tries to teach Chloe how to play his electric guitar and thus stands directly behind her (up against her with just the plastic bubble separating them and his rubber arms around her). He then gets a funny look on his face and starts reciting the Pledge of Allegiance (thus suggesting he has an erection).
  • Mrs. Livingston mockingly states that Chloe certainly is proud of her "boobies."
  • We see a quick shot of Chloe lying in her bikini.
  • Chloe sneaks into Jimmy's room at night carrying some beers and looks and acts a bit intoxicated as she wants to come inside his bubble. He states that she can't and she drunkenly/suggestively states that he can decontaminate her.
  • Jimmy asks Mark what he and Chloe will be doing tonight (at/after the prom) and Mark replies by saying, "A little of this" and then makes some sexual grunting sounds (and adds, "Oh, yeah" as he does some pelvic thrusting). He then acts like he's talking about performing (musically) on stage, but his statement is obviously intended sexually. As they walk out of Jimmy's room, Mark grabs Chloe's clothed butt.
  • We later hear Mark telling Chloe that they've been going out for two years and asks her, "How about a little action?" She replies that she's told him that she wants to wait until she's married (as he has his hands down near her clothed butt again).
  • Some cult members tell Jimmy that part of their doctrine is getting rid of all materialism and stripping oneself of all sexual desires. As they do so, Jimmy looks at a flip up chart (where the top layer is transparent and can be lifted away from the layer below it) that shows male and female body outlines and their sexual organs that lift up on that movable, top page (but everything is so small it's hard to tell exactly what we're seeing).
  • After Jimmy spots an attractive and shapely woman in a casino sporting some cleavage (and she and others stand in front of a neon sign that reads "Hot Virgins"), he asks Slim what it (presumably sex) is like. He replies that he can say what it's like to be with Wildfire (a previous flame of his) and states that it's like 1200 ccs of American steel vibrating between your legs.
  • Mrs. Livingston reprimands her husband for apparently starring at women's "boobies" as they drive through Las Vegas.
  • Some shapely women walk by and show cleavage.
  • A Hindu goddess figure/sculpture atop Pushpak's truck shows what appear to be bare breasts (not realistic looking).
  • As Chloe tries on her wedding dress (which shows some cleavage), Mark's sister asks her if she ever got into Jimmy's bubble. She says that she didn't, but that she thought about it. After they talk about such a union never working, the sister says that rubber comes in handy every once in a while, but "let's not go overboard."
  • Jimmy finds himself in a club where he's thrown into a mud wrestling ring with two scantily clad (small bikinis) and very buxom women (as he tries to win $500) who jump on and try to wrestle his bubble, getting all of them covered in mud.
  • An old taxi driver talks to Jimmy about "poontang" and that his brother stole "poontang" right out from under him. We hear more uses of the word (that are intended to be interpreted as slang for female genitals, but we later learn that he and others were talking about a woman named "Poontang"). In addition, some of the uses of that word are partially blocked out by the sound of an engine backfiring, etc.
  • As Mrs. Livingston cuddles Dr. Phreak like a baby, he slyly puts his hand on her clothed breast (drawing the attention of Mr. Livingston).
  • Mark acts rude toward Jimmy on the phone, saying he and Chloe couldn't have children and then asks, "Do you even have sperm?"
  • We briefly see Jimmy in his kid-like briefs.
  • SMOKING
  • Mark smokes a few times while Mrs. Livingston makes some comment about American Indians and cigarettes (in teaching Jimmy her version of history).
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Mrs. Livingston worries about Jimmy after he disappears and although he doesn't know any better until the end, she squashes his growth by trying to protect him and tell him lies about the real world.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Whether the film is funny or offensive in its various portrayals of certain groups of people.
  • People with immunity disorders and whether this film is exploiting them for laughs, or is simply telling a story featuring a character with such a deficiency.
  • The real-life people with physical deformities portrayed in the film.
  • Cults and cult members.
  • VIOLENCE
  • All of the following is played for laughs and not explicit realism.
  • Mrs. Livingston pops a kid's balloon with a knife when she returns home with a young Jimmy.
  • Some slapstick material (that has Jimmy in his bubble) includes Jimmy falling/bouncing down the steps; a bus slamming into his bubble as he crosses the road without looking (he's okay); Jimmy is tossed out of the back of a bus; Jimmy falling off the back of Slim's motorcycle; Jimmy runs into his parent's car on a scooter and bounces off of it and into a passing train; Dr. Phreak falling face-first from a train (we don't see him hit); and Jimmy smashes through a billboard after being bumped from a moving cab.
  • A bus of cult members purposefully drives over Slim's motorcycle.
  • Dr. Phreak tries hitting Jimmy with a stick (but it bounces off his plastic bubble) and then proceeds to smash an old car's windows with it. Moments later, Jimmy head-butts him (through the plastic bubble), sending the diminutive man flying through the air and smashing into something where he then falls to the ground unconscious.
  • Pushpak drives his truck through a billboard/sign as a town catches on fire with various parts of it exploding and a huge tower falling onto a gas station, resulting in another explosion.
  • Jimmy has a dream where a person is grabbed by a T-Rex from the old "Land of the Lost" TV show (not graphic or realistic looking by any means).
  • Pushpak accidentally runs into and kills a cow. As he grieves over it (from a religious standpoint), a tractor-trailer comes along and drives over/through the cow, splattering cow blood, guts and/or meat all over Pushpak. We also see the dead and now separated cow on the road (with lots of blood and related gore).
  • A bus of cult members purposefully backs over Slim's and others' motorcycles.
  • The "freaks" and cult members briefly struggle as the former try to allow Jimmy to escape from the latter.
  • We see Dr. Phreak thrown from a moving truck (in a car seat that then bounces along the road before coming to a stop).
  • We see that a clerk in a convenience store is really a robber who's holding a gun on the real and now tied-up clerk (played for laughs).
  • Some vehicles crash into each other (no one is hurt).



  • Reviewed August 20, 2001 / Posted August 24, 2001

    Other new and recent reviews include:

    [American Made] [Battle of the Sexes] [Flatliners] [A Question of Faith] [Stronger]

    Privacy Statement and Terms of Use and Disclaimer
    By entering this site you acknowledge to having read and agreed to the above conditions.

    All Rights Reserved,
    ©1996-2017 Screen It, Inc.