Have you ever been a victim of bullying? Have you ever bullied anyone?
People get bullied for a variety of reasons. It might be because someone has freckles, red hair, glasses, a “nerdy” name or any other variety of reasons.
If you have ever been the victim of bullying there is no doubt you wanted to find a way to escape those who torment you. When I was bullied in school for being overweight I could not wait for summer vacation and my high school graduation just to get away from all the people who made fun of me and went out of their way to do mean things to me.
There is a new movie which is available on Blu-ray and DVD at Walmart TODAY called Standing Up. It’s based on the novel by Brock Cole called The Goats.
The film stars Annalise Basso (Bedtime Stories) as Grace and Chandler Canterbury (RepoMen, Knowing) as Howie. The film is directed by D.J. Caruso. Val Kilmer also makes a brief appearance.
Grace and Howie are sent to an away camp where they become the victims of a cruel prank by other campers. They are both taken to an island near the camp, stripped of their clothes and left there overnight.
Howie stumbles upon Grace who is hiding out in an old cabin on an island. Both of them were stripped of their clothes but are able to find things to cover up with in the cabin (no worries, there is no nudity or hanky panky).
Howie and Grace instantly connect with one another because neither of them want to be at the camp and each of them find themselves being bullied all the time.
To escape their tormentors the pair decide to leave the island before the other campers come back to do more cruel things to them. Grace cannot swim so Howie has her hold on to a piece of drift wood and he pushes it off the island on to the main land.
Howie and Grace decide that they will turn the tables on their peers and run away from camp.
The pair some how survive being in the wilderness, as well as finding food and clothing in town. Meanwhile the camp, Police and Grace’s mom are all hot on their trail trying to find them.
Howie and Grace develop a strong friendship over a course of about a week. Along the way they make new friends and also find that they do have the strength and courage to stand up to people who are mean to them and put them down. They are no longer “weak” misfits. Now they are more self assured, brave ‘tweens.
Prior to running away from the camp Grace pleaded with her mother to come and get her. Her mother initially refused to because she wanted Grace to stick it out a little longer, hoping she would make friends. Grace did make a friend, but not the way her mother had envisioned when she sent her daughter to camp.
After being on the run for a few days Grace contacts her mother again, asking her to let Howie come home with them for a little while so they can go to a museum that she told him about. That is when Grace’s mom tells her a secret about Howie that Howie has been hiding from her.
Howie and Grace’s friendship gets pushed to the limits, but it also brings them closer.
What will become of the pair? Will they ever be found by the Police or camp? Will they eventually return to the camp? Or will they stay on the run? To find out you need to pick up a copy of Standing Up, available exclusively at Walmart on DVD and Blu-ray. The film is being released by Arc Entertainment.
I honestly didn’t know what to expect when I first started watching this film. I was thinking more along the lines that the pair get bullied and then find a way to seek revenge on their peers. I never expected the incredible adventure that the pair embark on. I couldn’t imagine a pair of ‘tweens wandering through the woods and around town on their own. I get nervous when my 16 year old walks the dog around our condo complex.
I found myself rooting for the pair. In a way I didn’t want them to be found until they were ready to be found. The more time that passed the more self confident the pair became.
The film makers picked the perfect actors to play the parts of Howie and Grace. Howie’s soulful eyes really tug at your heart strings. And Grace is clearly a beautiful young girl who clearly does not know it. She’s lacking the confidence and self esteem to realize that.
I honestly thought that Howie and Grace would kiss and become boyfriend and girlfriend, and perhaps they would fast forward a few years later and find the pair as older teens who are dating and oozing confidence as well as popular among their peers. They never did kiss and the ending was totally unexpected.
I think this would make a great Family Movie Night movie. Not only is it a sweet story it’s also a great way to strike up a conversation with your children or grandchildren about bullying. It’s rated PG and runs for 90 minutes.
Check out the trailer (below).
*I received a free screener copy in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.