'Giant Little Ones'

John Thomas

There are times in a relationship, even a long happy one, when an event takes place that makes the friendship stronger and more powerful or tears it to shreds. Franky (Josh Wiggins) and Ballas (Darren Mann) have been close buddies since childhood. They live near one another, easily move in and out of each others homes, ride bicycles to school, around town and are members of the high school swim team. The two boys can communicate with one another with just a glance.

Ballas’ family consists of mom, dad, brothers and sisters. Franky has his mom, Carly (Maria Bello), and siblings – his father lives not too far away. The boys and their friends romp around town as teenagers are known to do. The two have school, homework, swim practice and competitions, parties, pranks and the beginnings of sexual activities.

Ballas has a steady girlfriend with whom he has advanced way beyond the start of sexual activities. “We did it six times” he proudly announces to Franky on their way to school one day. Franky is still at the beginning stages and wonders how this revelation could be true. He also has a girl friend, but they are still at the experimental stage.

Franky’s mom has allowed him to have a birthday party with the conditions that when she arrives home around 1 a.m., after a date, his guests should be gone and the house in order. Well, that almost happens. Everyone is having a good time, in and out of the pool, in and out of embraces and in and out of love.

Upstairs in Franky’s room there is also some activity taking place under a pile of pillows and a down comforter. Finally Ballas dashes out from under the bedcovers, grabs his clothes and bounds out the door.

Later the next day he angrily confronts Franky saying: “It never would have happened if we weren’t wasted.” Franky is left wondering if he is angry because something new happened between them or he enjoyed what took place under the covers and feels guilty. Their former relationship is over. Everyone at home is confused at the abrupt change between the two boys, everyone at school knows what happened and begins to take sides. Needless to say, Franky now has a very short list of friends and lots of enemies – they even go so far as to physically attack him in the locker room.

Carly finally discovers the cause of the problem and comforts her son, especially when he returns home one afternoon with cuts and bruises brutally inflicted by a hostile classmate. She reluctantly notifies his father of the situation. He rushes to be with his son. Franky finally accepts his father’s attention and begins to move forward with his own life and the idea of who he is and where he is headed. Ballas is also left to grapple with who he is or what he might be.

Directed by Keith Behrman (Credits: Flowers and Garnet), this is a “should see” movie that runs 93 minutes,



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