Oh the number of has beens, oh the careers that are over, oh just so not good. Offensive humor. Bad acting. All add up to a not so good movie.
Where do actors go when their careers are over or tanking, act in Harold. Every single adult actor that is a former "star," delivered their lines while reading cue cards and were total cardboard stiffs. The only bright spot in the film, the wonderful boy that played Harold, Spencer Breslin. Cuba Gooding Jr. (been on a long slow slide to the depths of don't ever watch me again in a movie for a long time, is a janitor); Ally Sheedy (former hottie, mom now, certainly not Stifler's mom); Rachel Dratch (Debbie Downer - SNL, oh so not good as a teacher); Chris Parnell (former SNL regular, the worst gym teacher in film history); Colin Quinn (former MTV VJ worst old loaf in a strip club); Suzznne Shepherd (actually in Uncle Buck - but the worlds worst most hideous ancient former stripper / prostitute at 70 years old, oh I just vomitted a little in my mouth).
The premise, Harold a 13 year old boy, lost his hair very early and has the huge bald spot; and bunions (why bunions, no idea, made no sense). He is king of the hill at his school. Mom gets a promotion and he and his sister have to move to a new town. Harold is upset, and rightly so, he gets teased by the class idiots. He joins the Geek Squad and befriends the janitor (Cuba Gooding Jr.). Life is miserable until, wait for it, he gets cool by buying high school kids liquor. Along the way, there is some of the worst humor ever. To reinforce, cardboard line delivery by the adults just doesn't help matters at all. My guess, the director rehearsed with the kids a ton - they are all fairly new actors. The director just figured the professionals would do their job without rehersal. Nope, they all come from cue card reading work, so they read cue cards. Oh, they had a very cutesie hommage to Harold and Maude (the movie where an older woman befriends a misfit neighbor boy - wonderful movie); Harold the lead in this film, meets the new neighbor, Maude, the 70 year old stripper. Get it, Harold and Maude?
No it's not really funny. And no, it's not a dad saying that. 13 year old son watched this with me. "Dad, it was a 2 star movie, not good." We both laughed maybe four times - just enough to not turn this stinker off early.
OK, let's talk about this rating. PG-13. This one pushes the envelope more than I can imagine, neither my son, nor I are prudes or are easily offended. Let's run down the list - homophobic humor, a 14 year old purchases liquor, one f-bomb (remember, that keeps it PG-13, two and we go to R), a lot of a - hole, a, BS, etc., about 15 minutes in a strip club with strip club humor, a very old woman hits on a 14 year old, that same woman has sex with a high school student - 15 or 16 years old, Doctor office humor about a prostate exam and ED (hows the boner?), and pedophile humor (you know, the two most likely people to be perverts at school, band directors and janitors; and kid, you're 14, well come back in one year). There was a ton more brilliant examples of demeaning humor. Maybe you love this kind of humor, and so does your 13 year or older children. In that case, this is an awesome movie for you. Myself, it just didn't work.
It looks like an innocent enough coming of age comedy. If you and your children don't mind some pretty offensive humor, then you will love this film. I think for most, this one is a movie to pass on watching.
By the way, Indie film or major film production, totally irrelevant to this film. Bad acting is bad acting, no matter the budget. Bad humor is just plain flat out bad humor, no matter the budget. All the SNL talent in the world couldn't have saved this one.