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Running Time:
1 hour, 38 minutes

Rating: PG Parental Guidance Suggested.

Rating Explanation:
for mild bullying and some crude humor.

Jimmy's Buzz Guide Review:
Based on the book that has been happily grossing out kids since 1973, this is a painless but rather average movie that will mostly entertain teenagers.

Additional Info:
DVD Features: Worm Cuisine: watch a master chef cook up tasty worm dishes!; Blooper reel: get ready to crack up!; Movie-making made fun: experience the fun behind the scenes!; Deleted scenes: see scenes you've never seen before!; Commentary: director Bob Dolman and the kids from the cast; The rockin' worms: "Worm Guts" music video; Widescreen and fullscreen versions of the film.

How to Eat Fried Worms
The story centers on Billy Forrester (Luke Benward "Because of Winn-Dixie"), who suffers from all the trepidation of any 5th grader finding himself the new kid at school. Every-one seems to pick on him except Erika (Hallie Kate Eisenberg - Helen Keller in TV's "The Miracle Worker"), who can empathize because she's different too, she towers above all her classmates. When Joe, the class bully (Adam Hicks "The Shaggy Dog") and his posse of insecure but blustery fifth-graders fill Billy's lunchbox with wiggly, disgusting worms, is results in Joe issuing a challenge to Billy. On Saturday, Billy will have to eat 10 worms fried up in various unpalatable ways without throwing up. And Billy, wouldn't you know, has a weak stomach.

Each of the rival groups has their followers. Billy’s initially includes only sad-faced, put-upon Adam (Austin Rogers "Undercover Kids"), whom Joe’s already humiliated, and tall, self-possessed Erika, who’s continuously appalled at the foolishness of the boys but offers to babysit Billy’s little brother Woody (Ty Panitz "Yours, Mine and Ours") during the Saturday worm-athon. Joe, on the other hand, has a substantial crew including: Twitch (Alexander Gould - TV's "Weeds"), Bradley (Philip Bolden "Are We There Yet?"), Techno Mouth (newcomer Andrew Gillingham), Plug (newcomer Blake Garrett), Donny (newcomer Alexander Agate) and Benjy (Ryan Malgarini "Freaky Friday"), the gang's "Official Worm Cooker."

Adapted from Thomas Rockwell's novel by director Bob Dolman ("The Banger Sisters"), the film becomes a portrait in perseverance and courage showing Billy's determination to overcome fear and face up to his unappetizing challenge. Meanwhile, Joe's team members shift alliances as more and more of them begin to admire Billy's guts and fewer and fewer appreciate Joe's bullying. Billy's parents played by Kimberly Williams-Paisley (TV's "According to Jim")and especially Thomas Cavanagh (TV's "Ed") are rather bland, but James Rebhorn ("The Talented Mr. Ripley") plays an amusingly stern and officious school principal. Andrea Martin ("The Producers"), is extremely over-the-top as the kids' 5th grade teacher.

Fans of the perennially popular book and teenagers will get the biggest kick out of this film about a boy's culinary hazing at the hands of a fifth grade bully. But for the rest of us, it's just a pleasant but rather average movie.

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