March 16, 2007
Volume 35
Issue 11
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Sunday, Jan 26, 2020



Wonderfully funny coming of age film speaks to the geek in all of us
Wonderfully funny coming of age film speaks to the geek in all of us
by Rajkhet Dirzhud-Rashid - SGN A&E Writer

Starter for Ten Directed by Tom Vaughan
Starring James McAvoy, Alice Eve, Rebecca Hall, Catherine Tate Dominic Cooper
Now playing

In the voiceover opening of the film Starter for Ten, the main character, Brain (James McAvoy, The Chronicles of Narnia), introduces himself as someone who was not born with good looks, so he relies, instead on his brain. This sets us up for a film that is both touching and funny in that way that makes us remember what it was to be awkward in the world, while we wished to be so much cooler.

Young Brian gets accepted at a prestigious university, after impressing the review board. Even though he hasn't the money other students who attend the college have, he's willing to work hard and be the best student they've had. Lucky for him, his geeky good looks and sincerity win them over, and pretty soon he's bunking with two very quirky roommates and attending his first college 'mixer', and sampling beer with a varied group of students. It is at this 'mixer' that he first meets smart and plucky Rebecca Epstein (Rebecca Hall), a radical feminist/anarchist Jewish student who would seem to be a perfect match for Brian.

Unfortunately, he becomes smitten instantly with blonde hottie Julie, who awes him and who also, eventually, breaks his heart. And, in between those two meetings, he gets to be part of a group of students who compete on a college challenge brain teaser show, finds out that sometimes packaging can be deceptive, as he finds both friendship and romance with spunky, outspoken Rebecca. A charming film, set in a more innocent time ('the '80's), with a cast that'll win you over, even as the film lets you revisit a past that you might have lived yourself.

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