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At nearly 400 pounds, Tracy Orbison (Hubbel Palmer) is a wide target. When he sets out to pursue his dream of acting, the grocery clerk finds an assortment of people waiting to dash his dreams: his acting coach (William Baldwin), who has designs on his sister Peggy (24's Mary Lynn Rajskub); his juvenile-delinquent friends, who suck him into their petty crimes; and his God-fearing, self-loathing mother (Academy Award nominee Kathleen Quinlan). Through it all, Tracy remains irrepressibly upbeat, convinced he's destined for something big.
I was looking forward to sitting down to this one since it is from the Producers of "Napoleon Dynamite" which I thought was an original and very funny film. Humble Pie is a good follow up but different in a lot ways, the film centers on Tracy a young man with so many problems. One is that he is over-weight, the other is that he just can't seen to pass his drivers test and he really doesn't have any friends. After his boss gives him tickets to go his a stage show he immediately falls for the art and begins taking acting classes. He lives at home with his mom and sister and home life isn't all that good either but he seems to always keep an upbeat attitude. The film plays out in two parts, the first half of the movie is more a comedy with many funny moments like the opening scene when he is at his drivers test, that scene will have you hooked. Another funny scene is his mom at at the dinner table saying grace and telling God how angry she is. The film takes a more dramatic turn in the second half when a young boy is hired at his work, Tracy takes to him and his group of friends but he is easily led and the boys get him involved in petty crimes and even arrested. There is still some funny moments in the second half of the movie but it shows a more serious side as well as Tracy learns some tough life lessons. Hubbel Palmer who also wrote the screenplay is fantastic as Tracy and he does a fantastic job at carrying the film, I am really amazed why this man hasn't been in more movies over the last 7 years. The supporting cast is incredible as well including, Kathleen Quinlan who plays the mom, she is great as always, also Mary Lynn Rajskub of Television's "24" is remarkable as his sister Peggy who soon begins to date his acting teacher who is played by William Baldwin, William gives the best performance he has ever given. Humble Pie is a clever, original and funny with some very good drama tossed in along the way. Tracy is someone we might all know, he is the kind of guy that you root for and you hope he finds what he is looking for in life. Through all the laughter and pain I found myself smiling in the end, a film with a heart as big as Tracy's appetite, it will leave you feeling good about life. The film will have a Theatrical run this fall and a DVD release in December so be sure to keep your eyes open for this one, it is a delightful gem.
Released by Monterey Media **** Out Of *****