* * * ½
(A nice little movie)
Every once in a while a nice little movie comes along that will have you rooting for the characters while putting a big smile on your face. “The Peanut Butter Falcon” is that movie.
Zack Gottsagen, a new actor with Down syndrome, plays Zak, a young man who has been sent to a nursing home because there is no other place to put him. Zak’s roommate (Bruce Dern) helps him escape so that he may pursue his dream to meet his idol and train to be a professional wrestler.
Zak is pursued by his young social worker (Dakota Johnson) as he teams up with Tyler, a drifter (Shia LaBeouf) who steals a boat and is being pursued by its owners.
The film has been compared to Huckleberry Finn, as the odd couple escapes down the river, having a few adventures along the way.
At first, Zak is a nuisance, but they slowly bond as Tyler helps Zak find his hero. Eventually, the social worker joins them and the movie moves toward a delightful conclusion that will have you cheering and possibly shedding a few tears.
Gottsagen plays a wonderful character, and you wonder if there is a bit of Zak in him. Hopefully, we’ll be seeing more of him.
Rated PG-13, with some profanity and minor violence.