Cover - Son of Rambow
This is a slight and rather endearing little movie – which I do not ever remember seeing or hearing anything about – was in limited release in the United States early this year, and until release on DVD was apparently mostly to be seen at a scattering of film festivals. It is a joint project of Garth Jennings and Will Goldsmith, who are mostly famed for “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”. A story more unlike “Hitchhiker could not be imagined. “Rambow” is a gentle, humorous tale of two English schoolboys in the early 1980s, complete opposites but unlikely friends, united alike in their love of the action hero John Rambo and determined to make their own movie based on the adventures of the character.

Both are fatherless; Lee Carter (Will Poulter) is the worst-behaving boy in school, an almost-bully living in a chaotic house with his older brother, who is running a video piracy scheme and has access to a wide array of cameras and video equipment. Will Proudfoot (Bill Milner) is timid and shy, whose widowed mother belongs to the strict Plymouth Brethren, a denomination so rigorous that he is now allowed to watch television or the movies – and must leave his classroom and wait in the hallway whenever one of his teachers shows an educational film. Lee and Will meet in the hallway and become fast friends through their determination to complete their movie and enter it in a young filmmaker’s competition.

And so they do, fearlessly duplicating stunts and sets, props and costumes, aided and sometimes hindered by their families and schoolmates. The flamboyant French exchange student, Didier (Jules Sitruk) – who is distinguished by his impossibly high-piled pompadour and bright magenta pointy-toe boots – unexpectedly comes through at the last moment as a fellow Rambo fan, and there is a very funny and slapstick moment involving a life-sized statue of a dog attached to a high-flying kite, a second story window, a hot-tempered teacher and a pair of manicure scissors.

One caveat to be noted; although this move is about schoolboys, it may not, strictly speaking be a movie which children of the age of Lee and Will would enjoy unreservedly. It seems to be oriented more towards adults, recalling what it was like to be a child.

Extras include the usual “Making of-“ documentary, commentaries by the director, producer and cast members, as well as the original inspiration for “Son of Rambow” – Garth Jenning’s home-made short “Aron”, with an all star cast of his friends and sibs, filmed on location in an assortment of back yards, front yards and garden sheds.

“Son of Rambow” is highly recommended as a good family movie – that is, a move which a family can watch and enjoy all together – and is available at and other retail outlets.

Sgt. Mom is a free-lance writer and member of the Independent Authors Guild who lives in San Antonio and blogs at The Daily Brief. Her current book “To Truckee’s Trail” is available here. Her follow-up release, “The Adelsverein Trilogy” will be available in December, 2008.. More about her books is at her website

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