Based on K.L. Going's young adult novel, this Seattle-set feature charts the friendship between a sullen high school outcast (Jacob Wysocki, playing a variation on his character in Azazel Jacobs's Terri) and the punk rocker who recruits him, as a gag, to play drums in a band. The narrative arc may be predictable—the rocker instills the fat kid with confidence, the fat kid proves to be a loyal friend—but the filmmakers realize it with sensitivity and knowing detail. The depiction of high school band life rings true at every turn, bringing a sense of authenticity to the familiar teenage drama. Actor Matthew Lillard directed; not coincidentally, this often recalls SLC Punk!, the late-90s teen favorite he starred in.