Robin Williams, although an immensely funny and energetic comedian, has the raw acting talent to make you truly believe in his characters. He can emotionally engage you and allows for his supporting cast to remain prominent in his films without being overshadowed by the big characters that he plays. Patch Adams & Mrs. Doubtfire are two very fine examples of how Robin Williams can present an immensely funny character, yet retains a level of depth and reality that allow for the hysterical laughter without sacrificing the emotional importance of what his films are ultimately about. He achieves this just as well in Jack.
The film is based around the main character, Jack. He is a child born with a rapid aging disability like that of the real condition known as Progeria. The parents are naturally shocked and upset by this news, but make a pledge to allow him as good a life as possible. Fast forward a few years and we see a child in the body of a grown man (Robin Williams) who has been secluded from the outside world by his parents to protect him from the cruelties and judgments of the real world. His home school tutor Lawrence (Bill Cosby) recommends to Jacks parents that he should be put into a public school so he can socialise and make friends.
Anybodies first day of school is a terrifying one, but for Jack it's even more so thanks to him being in the body of a fully grown man entering an elementary school. Naturally his fellow classmates are a bit wary of this stranger in their classroom and keep well away whilst inventing stories. Mrs. Marquez (Jennifer Lopez), his teacher, warms quickly to Jack and strongly wants him to make friends and be accepted by his classmates. After being asked to join a team in a basketball game because of his height, he quickly becomes part of a group of friends who start to look past his appearance and recognise the kid within him.
This is an immensely sweet and heart warming film and is personally one of my favourites starring the comic legend that is Robin Williams. It's largely unrecognised on the mainstream film stage and I would love it to get more recognition than it did then and does now. It's up there with the likes of Mrs. Doubtfire and Patch Adams. Although it's not as blatantly funny, it's more so an emotional piece with a strong message to deliver to us all about acceptance of the personality within everybody. Looking past the appearance and accepting people, warts and all.
Directed by the legend of Francis Ford Coppola, there's no denying that this would have been an immensely enjoyable movie going piece. The inclusion of comedy legend Bill Cosby is also a delight and although he doesn't have a largely comic prominence, it's still a great thing to see him in the film. This is one of Jennifer Lopez' first movies and although I'm not crazy over her acting, she doesn't do a bad job overall. Williams is the true gem though and truly creates a believable and sweet character that we're all hoping will succeed in making friends.
I would highly recommend this to any fans of Robin Williams as it's truly one of his greatest.