When I spoke to Jeffrey Blitz and Reece Daniel Thompson on May 4, 2007, the buzz about ROCKET SCIENCE had just begun. In town for a screening at the San Francisco International Film Festival, they had just completed a sword-buying trip to Chinatown before our scheduled appointment and worries had set in about how the swords would make it onto the plane for the next stop on their press tour. During our chat, we covered stuttering (learning and overcoming), taking characters out of context, and dealing with the aftermath of living with spelling bees. No word on what happened with the travelling swords.
Rites of passage come in many forms, and for Hal (Thompson), the game but hapless hero of ROCKET SCIENCE, that rite is pizza. Specifically, being able to overcome his stutter long enough to form the words to place the order before a lesser option is forced upon him by the bored lunch ladies at his high school. From such small hurdles great stories can be spun, and writer/director Jeffrey Blitz has done just that, turning mere plot into an apotheosis.
ROCKET SCIENCE plays by its own ingenious rules. And its not afraid to get philosophical as it flays Hal’s soul, and not just with a kid trying, and failing, to form a philosophy club at Hals school, one with a no Kant rule. The delight, as one character puts it with acute prescience, is looking back and pondering what it all means, and being bowled over by the answer that Blitz has devised. The film co-stars Anna Kendrick, Nicholas D’Agosto, Aaron Yu, Margo Martindale, Vincent Piazza, and Dennis O’Hare. Blitz directed from his own script.