Bubble Boy (2001)

bubble-boyI was skeptical going into “Bubble Boy,” but as I was finishing it, I must admit it won me over mainly for its eccentric tone and “Pee Wee’s Big Adventure” inspired flights of fantasy and surreal. Jake Gyllenhaal (in a goofy doo that admittedly tries too hard to gauge laughs) plays Jimmy, a boy who when he was born did not have any immunities. He’s a generally lonely boy with a very overbearing mother who protects him from the outside world as he lives in his bubble watching everything go by.

He then meets Chloe as played by Marley Shelton who begins to teach him about the world and she eventually falls in love with him. But Jimmy keeps her from truly touching him, which she wants more than anything. Eventually, she meets another guy who she tells Jimmy she’s going to marry him. Jimmy knows this guy is wrong for her, but he doesn’t stop her. Now, still in love with her, Jimmy breaks free from his bubble and goes on the road to Niagara Falls to keep her from marrying. In a protective bubble he meets a whole cast of freaks, bikers, and a cult who thinks he’s a god. Will he be able to stop the girl he loves from making the biggest mistake of her life?

“Bubble Boy” is a very niche comedy with an odd sense of humor that’s more about personal limitations we set for ourselves, more than turning the illness of the bubble boy in to a caricature. The way Jimmy perceives the world is something you only see in cartoons and I found it quite funny. Though “Bubble Boy” is mainly a comedy, it has a ton of heart and tries to build a fun adventure out of the drive Jimmy has to seal hi romance with his girlfriend. I won’t argue “Bubble Boy” is a masterpiece, but it’s a fun and oddly entertaining twist on the road trip film. While it won’t make Jimmy in to the next Pee Wee Herman, it at least aspires for off the wall fun.