Craig Roberts Emile Hirsch
Just Jim is a nifty little Indie film written, directed, and starred in by Craig Roberts. It shows a segment in the life of an unpopular nerdy teen who lives in a fantasy world because he just can’t seem to connect with anyone, even his parents. They’re portrayed as being inattentive to him and rather shallow, although they seem to relate to his older sister very well. Yet, they want to help him, and try giving him a birthday party, and inviting one of his classmates for supper without asking him. Jim is taunted by classmates, and although he makes feeble stabs at socializing, nothing works, and he retreats further into himself.
Jim is ripe for a bad influence, and he appears in a new neighbor named Dean (Hirsch) who inserts himself into Jim’s life under the guise of helping him grow out of his pussiness with advice like, “Man up a bit; stop being a little bitch” and to be “mysterious but open.” Dean takes Jim to have his ears pierced, get a tattoo, and to walk out of a store without paying for a drink. He helps him win a race at school through underhanded means, and threatens the boyfriend of the girl Jim has a crush on to stay away from her or horribly bad things will happen to him and his family.
Dean’s next step is to “inform” Jim’s parents of the things he has advised Jim to do, without telling them of his own influence. All of this is to convince them that Jim is “crazy” and needs to be sent to a mental institution.
Because of how the film ended, I began to wonder if Dean is a real person or someone in Jim’s imagination, who helps him explore different ways of being and ways to solve his problems. If so, I would say, “Well done, Craig Roberts.” It elevates what might be a good script to a more clever production.
Yes, it is all just Jim, but most interesting.