Bubble Boy Parent Guide
Parent Movie Review
Follow the link to Making The Grades for additional information on this film’s content.
Jimmy (Jake Gyllenhaal), an older teen with immune deficiencies, spends his life locked in a series of tubes and bubbles strung throughout his suburban home. Protected by a paranoid Christian mother and ignored by his apathetic father, Jimmy’s only contacts with the outside world are children’s magazines, one television channel, and his bedroom window through which he sees Chloe (Marley Shelton), the girl next door.
Hanging with a rocker-wannabe boyfriend, Chloe decides to meet the boy who stares out the window. She manages to spend a great deal of time with Jimmy in his bedroom even with his mother’s protestations, and the two develop a strong friendship, which awakens strong sexual urges within the young man. But Jimmy is crushed on the day Chloe announces her engagement. Knowing the impending wedding is in Niagara Falls, Jimmy determines to get to the church on time by traveling in a portable bubble.
Prior to its release, this movie garnered bursts of negative publicity from parents of children with immune deficiency problems who promoted a boycott of the film. After screening Bubble Boy, it appears likely that more than this segment of the populace will want to know Disney’s zip code.
The writers (one who worked on professional offender Howard Stern’s movie Private Parts) have taken every opportunity to portray Christians as bigoted, over protective, and unable to discuss sex with their children. They also demean a Hindu man for his faith and general culture, present a strange cult of young zombie-like individuals worshipping a false prophet, and include disparaging remarks about Jews, Asians, and others. Obviously a tirade toward religion in general with the hope that equally offending everyone will leave no one feeling personally insulted, the only traits the film portrays as worthy of emulation are sexual promiscuity and motorcycle machismo.
Besides foaming over with typecast exaggerations, scenes depicting teen eroticism, male sexual arousal, gambling, and other irreverent grossities, provide additional reasons why Bubble Boy is not the answer for cleaning up intolerant attitudes towards others.Starring Jake Gyllenhaal. Running time: 84 minutes. Theatrical release August 24, 2001. Updated April 6, 2009
Bubble Boy Parents' Guide
Negative stereotypes of certain nationalities or religions are often seen in media. Do you think audiences find these stereotypes to be more tolerable when seen in a comedy? Does it make them any less destructive?
There has only been one “boy in a plastic bubble.” David Vetter suffered from a severe immune deficiency problem that took his life at the age of 12. Read about what the Immune Deficiency Foundation has stated regarding this movie at www.primaryimmune.org.
While we have been unable to secure a copy to review, David Vetter’s story was portrayed in the television movie The Boy In The Plastic Bubble, starring John Travolta.