Netflix fix: Building up, tearing down in 'Fat Kid Rules the World'

By Luis Rendon
April 17, 2013 at 12:02 p.m.
Updated April 17, 2013 at 11:18 p.m.

Jacob Wysocki stars as Troy in "Fat Kid Rules the World."

Jacob Wysocki stars as Troy in "Fat Kid Rules the World."

There's this page I designed early in my time here at the Advocate. It's a standout in my portfolio, consistently one of the first pages commented on when anyone looks at my stuff.

It's a great page, but whenever I look at it, I can only see the one oversight that makes it imperfect - the piece that reminds me that I'm careless and not thoughtful enough.

We are all our own worst critics but luckily, I have the good sense to not take myself too seriously, and friends and co-workers let me know even if my pages aren't perfect, they're still pretty good. When you're alone though and the voices in your head get so loud, self-criticism can take an ugly turn to self-destruction.

"Fat Kid Rules the World," rated R, is the story of Troy and Marcus, two self-destructive teens on two very different paths leading to the same tragic end.

Troy is fat - very fat. He wasn't always fat, but now he is, and he keeps on thinking of different ways he's going to die, contemplating suicide even. Troy's widowed father blames himself for his son's obesity, and Troy's younger brother Dayle spends all his time trying to be the anti-Troy.

Marcus is a high school dropout with punk-rock dreams and a streak for drugs. Freshly kicked out of his own band and with a mother who has pledged allegiance to a stepfather who could care less, Marcus is also newly homeless.

Fate, rock 'n' roll, something brings these two together when Troy steps in front of a bus and Marcus shoves him out of the way, saving his life.

An unlikely friendship is forged between the two when Marcus recruits Troy to create a new band, mostly a ruse so Marcus can use Troy for money and housing.

The two go back and forth, and what's really created is a safety net for each other. Instead of being sedentary and focusing on his own disappointments, Troy loses himself in punk music, learning how to obliterate a drum kit and even impressing some girls along the way.

Marcus, meanwhile, is able to find support within Troy's family that is willing to put in the effort to help him with his drug problem.

Based on the novel by K.L. Going, "Fat Kid Rules the World" is surprisingly sweet but hardly feel-good.

"I don't get it; Marcus is so self-destructive," says love-interest and fellow punk rocker Isabel. "Sometimes I feel self-destructive, too," says Troy. "Me too," she replies.

We're all a little bit self-destructive sometimes. Our bodies will never be just the way we want them, our vices will get the best of us sometimes, and that page you designed will always have that one thing you missed. But that's OK, as long as you're around the next day to build yourself back up.



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