Vivendi Visual Entertainment // 2007 // 85 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // November 15th, 2012
There's no limit to your dreams.
The year is 1976 and for Bobby Graham (Dylan McLaughlin), a young boy and recent orphan, his world sort of sucks. After having lost his parents, he's been sent to live with his aunt and uncle, who are just trying to get by. Life is tough enough without the added orphan pressure, and Bobby -- still grappling with his loss and some mild alienation from his peers -- finds himself ostracized and sad.
Then he meets Jim, the town recluse (John Schneider, Smallville), and the two strike up a friendship. Turns out Jim is an accomplished soap box racer, which happens to be what Bobby also loves. The two begin building and testing out a custom racer, with the goal of participating in "The Big Race."
Of course, you know what happens next. You've Got a Friend doesn't have a surprising slice of DNA in its genetic makeup. The story beats play out precisely as you would expect.
Bobby's uncle distrusts Jim and doesn't think highly of all this soap box racing nonsense but, TRUE or FALSE, he eventually comes around, recognizing that his nephew is pretty miserable and the racing actually makes him happy, so maybe it's not that bad an idea after all!
Racing against Bobby is another little kid who sort of enjoys it, despite his father's pathological determination to win at all costs. TRUE or FALSE, Bobby pulls out the victory by a matter of inches and what the heck kind of crap father lives vicariously through a soap box racer?!
Finally, TRUE or FALSE, Jim overcomes his personal demons and finds life is worth living, when he can help a lonely kid discover his dreams of skidding down asphalt uncontrollably in a shoddily made conveyance.
No plot twists here, but that shouldn't be a shocker. You've Got a Friend is not after the subversive crowd. This is low-calorie, family-friendly fluff, designed to be viewed by all members of the brood with nothing offensive to be found anywhere. And if that means the storyline can be mapped out before the opening credits roll, so be it.
The DVD is just as simple: standard def 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, Dolby 2.0 Stereo, English closed captioning, and no extras.
Not Guilty. Nothing groundbreaking, but that's not the point.
Review content copyright © 2012 David Johnson; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2013 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: Vivendi Visual Entertainment
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
* English (CC)
Running Time: 85 Minutes
Release Year: 2007
MPAA Rating: Not Rated