Sid Straw is a loser.
At least, that’s how he’s introduced to us at the start of Eat Wheaties!, a simple yet funny film directed by Scott Abramovitch.
Brought to hapless life by actor Tony Hale, Sid lives alone, and hangs out in his drab corner office, occasionally chatting up co-workers who can barely stand to make eye contact with him. Despite existing almost on the fringe of society, Sid’s personality remains positive and upbeat; clueless to the general disdain with which he is perceived by those around him.
His brother, Tom (David Walton) is the one person who is always in Sid’s corner, despite the friction that exists between Sid and Tom’s wife, Janet (Elisha Cuthbert). Tom and Janet are expecting their first child, but Sid’s current joie de vivre comes from being co-chair of his college reunion. He’s told to sign up for Facebook because all of the planning is happening online, so Sid sets himself up with an account and the world quickly opens up to him as he starts sending requests out to all his old friends.
One face in particular catches his eye, and Sid immediately latches on to that perceived connection with a former classmate – Elizabeth Banks. He finds a group photo that they’re both in and begins trying to convince anyone and everyone that they used to be friends. He also reaches out on Facebook to her social media fan account, publicly posting short letters to her that start to border on diary entries.
Sid does NOT know how to use social media. And it shows. And quickly spirals out of his control.
Clocking in at just under an hour and a half, the film itself is pretty predictable, and there are some pacing and plot issues which make it feel a little off-kilter sometimes. But it also features an amazing supporting cast which is a cornucopia of familiar faces, as well as a lot of laughs, and extra heart thrown in for good measure. It’s not complex or heady, but rather a kind of comfort food for the film-loving soul.
Eat Wheaties! follows Sid through his lows and highs and shows us a man who has never been afraid to just be himself, even when he has no idea who that may be. Beyond all of his imagined friendships and life experiences, Sid Straw is a socially awkward yet somehow still charming weirdo who stumbles into a journey which leads him to discover his own tribe of weirdos, while teaching him some of the things which are truly important in life along the way.
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