Raising Genius (2004) 3/10

November 13, 2007

It’s only locked on the inside…

Director: Linda Voorhees, Bess Wiley

Cinematography: Chris W. Johnson, Mark Ritchie, Matthew J. Siegel

Screenplay: Linda Voorhees

Cast: Justin Long, Wendie Malick, Stephen Root.

Rating R
Country: USA
Language: English


Hal Nester is named high school valedictorian, but refuses to come out of his bathroom until he has found the answer to a formula involving his cheerleading neighbor bouncing on a trampoline. After three months of writing formulas and theories on walls, however, his obsessive and overbearing mother (Wendie Malick) has had enough and will do everything it takes to get him out, as his compulsive father (Stephen Root) idly stands by.

I think the problem with this story wasn’t the acting, nor was it the cinematography. The idea of a seventeen year old genius who refuses to leave his bathroom is interesting, but the movie lacked a few punches in my opinion. This isn’t a typical comedy, I didn’t feel the need to laugh out loud (or even giggle slightly). The comedy is mostly in the hilarity of the situation, and in the character’s ideals and ambitions.

The best part about this movie was the psychology behind the characters. The way Hal (Long) has very little social skills, but still manages to manipulate whoever he needs (from robbers to police officers). I especially liked the grandmothers. As much as they claim to want to help their grandson, they see nothing wrong with frightening him to death by repeatedly pretending to enter his “domain”.

Overall, I’m glad I watched the film, but it was kind of boring.

Raising genius gets 3 bouncing cheerleaders out of 10.


– Official Website (no longer available)
IMDb link
Theatrical Trailer
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