Rocket Science focuses on the coming-of-age of Hal Hefner, a stuttering savant in NJ, who is fighting for intelligence and his own voice. Hal Hefner is a high school student in Plainsboro, New Jersey. His parents just separated and he is tired of hearing his older brother, Earl torment him. Hal's biggest issue is his unrelenting stutter. Although he knows the answers to every answer in class, and does well on his homework, Hal cannot seem to convey his intelligence through speech. He writes down all of his answers in his notebook, but never volunteers.
Click here to see the rest of this review
One day, in the midst of his depressing life, Ginny Ryerson sits down next to him on the bus. Ginny is the debate captain. She is an extremely well-spoken senior with high career pursuits. She tells Hal that she can transform his speech and help him win the grand state debate. Hal takes her word and listens to all of her advice. He falls in love with her. They become debate partners.
Hal's debating skills do not seem to be improving with each meeting.
Hal's brother, Earl, steals Ginny's prized locket and frames Hal in the act. Ginny decides not to speak to Hal during this time of distrust.
Hal hits a very low point in his life. He continues to visit Ginny's house everyday, and each day Ginny's mom tells Hal that she is not available. She starts dating a boy who attends a different high school and is on a rival debate team.
Hal learns that he will not be able to see Ginny anymore, but still decides to go through with the debate.
Hal sees Ginny at the debate and cannot go through with it. Instead he flees to Philadelphia where he meets Ben Wekselbaum. Ben was the debate champion prior to Ginny. He is older and wiser- Hal becomes friends with him.
At the end of the movie, Hal finally orders pizza- something he hadn't been able to articulate the entire film, makes amends with his father who picks him up, and realizes that life doesn't have to be rocket science.
Best part of story, including ending:
I felt connected to Hal the whole time. He is a very likable anti-hero. I really wanted him to overcome all of his pitfalls. The narration was interest-capturing, and the characters are captivating.
Best scene in story:
Hal gets drunk and throws his neighbor's cello at Ginny's window after reaching a very low point. The Violent Femmes' "Add it Up" is captivating in the scene.
Opinion about the main character:
I love the hopefulness within Hal's character. He is a really humorous character, but no one around him, besides his "best friend" Heston seems to think so.