Jamal Wallace (Robert Brown XVII) and his friends have often noticed the mysterious man watching them with binoculars from his inner city apartment each day while they shoot hoops outside their Brooklyn school. Accepting his buddies dare to see who "The Window" (their name for the man) is, Jamal breaks into his flat late one night, assuming the man will be gone or asleep. Instead he is confronted, so he flees, leaving his backpack behind.
While his friends assume Jamal only lives for basketball, his backpack holds many little volumes full of half-completed stories and notes, indications of a deep love of writing. Spending hours in his bedroom sharpening his craft--his only interruption being the frequent sexual noises from the neighbors, which we hear as well--Jamal is a highly intelligent boy who refuses to do well in school fearing the resulting peer pressure.
The next day, when Jamal's forgotten backpack suddenly drops from The Window's apartment, the boy is relieved to have his writing returned, but surprised at the many notes scribbled on his work. Convinced there is more to the man behind the glass, Jamal returns to The Window's apartment, but is caustically told to stay away. Persisting, Jamal discovers over time that the recluse is actually William Forrester, an acclaimed author who closeted himself away after publishing only one book. The awkward beginning to their relationship will eventually lead the two of them through a totally new story with mutually beneficial results.
A moving story that portrays the power of personal motivation, overcoming negative peer pressure, and how both young and old can contribute to a positive relationship, many would argue that Finding Forrester should be recommended high school viewing.
Unfortunately, as is too often the case, the writers of this movie chose to include many moderate profanities, two sexual expletives, and another term used to describe a sexual act, which is more than the subject matter can justify. Creating a major flaw in this diamond of a movie, makes Forrester another questionable family film rather than a real find.