Anchored by a fine lead performance, Keith Behrman's feature about a teen in turmoil suffers from a wavering tone
GIANT LITTLE ONES SPEC D: Keith Behrman. 93 min. Sep 9, 3:45 pm, Elgin Sep 10, 6:45 pm, Scotiabank 4. See listing. Rating: NNN
After a sexual incident at a party, fresh-faced, well-adjusted suburban high schooler Franky (Josh Wiggins) finds his life upended and a rift between him and his best friend (Darren Mann).
Writer/director Behrman delivers a first act that’s positively writhing with hormonal energy, and Wiggins exudes star quality as a kid who’s trying to figure things out.
But the film’s tone – manipulated by an ever-present score – lurches between earnest after-school special and dark, knowing comedy. And while Maria Bello delivers fine, grounded work as Franky’s divorced mom, Kyle MacLachlan, Taylor Hickson and others seem uncomfortable with their contrived monologues.