From the Vaults: Angus

Posted: June 12, 2012 in Movies, The Vault
Tags: , ,

Every once in a while, I’ll open up the vault to pull out a forgotten treasure or an underappreciated gem

Angus

Director:  Patrick Read Johnson

Starring:  Charlie Talbert, George C Scott, Kathy Bates, Ariana Richards, James Van Der Beek

This charming little teen comedy dropped in early fall 1995 with very little fanfare and left theaters just as quietly.  And that is a shame because contained within it’s compact 90 minute running time is a truly delightful film.

Granted, there’s nothing spectacularly original here.  Charlie Talbert, in his film debut, plays the title character.  He’s an overweight, brainy freshman who’s been tormented for years by the most popular guy in school, the good-looking Dawson-like captain of the football team.  The fact that Angus, who plays on the offensive line of that same team, protects that quarterback, allowing him the chance to shine, is lost on the fans.  Don’t they realize that championships are won by the defensive and offensive lines?

Anyway, Talbert has appeared in minor roles since and that Dawson-like captain, who was appearing in his first movie as well, went on to play Dawson himself.  Yes, James Van Der Beek plays a straight up asshole here.  Talbert shouldn’t feel too bad, though.  It’s not like The Beek has had a stellar career.

But I digress.

Like I was saying, Angus is a science whiz and a fat kid.  So, according to the high school hierarchy, he’s doomed.  It doesn’t help that he’s been in love with the Van Der Beek’s girlfriend, a pretty cheerleader played by Ariana Richards, since pre-school.  His occasional awkward attempts at communication with the young beauty only open him up to further ridicule by the jock and his cronies. 

But things are looking up for our hero.  His best friend is the only person in school more socially inept than he is. His mom and grandfather, played by Oscar winners Kathy Bates and George C Scott, are very supportive of both his athletic and scholarly pursuits.  And, if he nails his science project, he’s got a chance at getting into a magnet school where he will no longer be exposed to the puerile and childish antics of his peers.

I’d tell you more but I want you to watch the movie.  I mean, it won’t change your life but it will make you feel pretty good.  Angus is a very likable guy.  His family is great.  His friend is loyal and flawed.  The cheerleader turns out to be a rather worthwhile object of his affections.  Van Der Beek is still a cock but that’s to be expected.

Bonus points are awarded for one of the best opening title songs I’ve ever heard in a movie.  Love Spit Love ‘s “Am I Wrong” is mixed with a high-school marching band playing over the football game that begins the action.  It’s a stirring song and gets you in the mood for a good flick.  Who is Love Spit Love, you ask?  I don’t know.  I just like the song.

Angus is not available at retail but can be purchased on demand through Warner Archives  and at Amazon on DVD or Instant Video.

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