Review: Driving Lessons

Erin Finley, Co-Editor

Editors’ Note:  This review first appeared in the Sept. 8, 2009 isssue of the Dodger.

Set in the beautiful Scotland countryside, the movie Driving Lessons, is a wonderful tale of growing up and facing what life throws at you.

Ben Marshall (Rupert Grint) is a teenager of 17 ½ living with his extreme Christian parents. His mom (Laura Linney) is very over-protective and won’t let Ben out of her sight. Ben’s dad, a preacher, (Nicholas Farrell) can’t stand up to his wife and instead locks himself in his study to read his bird watching books. Meanwhile Ben is stuck at home all day dealing with his parent’s fights and his mother’s nagging. Much to his contempt he is forced to become a hideous tree in the upcoming church play.

Ben spends his days avoiding his parents and writing love poems to a girl who just thinks he is a bumbling nerd. Soon his mom forcefully suggests that Ben get a job. Thinking it will be easy, he decides to help out an elderly lady. Little does he know what he is getting into. Evie (Julie Walters) is a bit loony and has no regard for any type of rule. She soon ropes Ben into all kinds of new adventures.

While on these adventures, Ben finally grows up and becomes a man. For once in his teenage life, Ben is happy. However, his mom decides all of Evie’s crazy antics are a bad influence on Ben, and forbids him to see her again. Ben soon finds his voice and finally fights for his rights to see his best friend.

This movie is great for anyone who has ever had to deal with the pressures of life. It truly depicts what it is like to be a teenager. I would recommend it for fans of Juno or other indie films.

Released on October 13, 2006, Driving Lessons is PG-13, directed by Jeremy Brock, and runs 98 minutes.