Life is not easy for teenager Hal Hefner (Reece Daniel Thompson). His parents, Juliet and Doyle, have abruptly split; his older brother Earl is a budding obsessive-compulsive who pushes him around; and he has an unpredictable stutter that makes high school and exercise in embarrassment, self effacement and terrible lunches.
Given that his active mind and quick wit tend to be obscured by his problematic voice, Hal is not an obvious candidate for his school’s high-powered debate team. So it comes as a complete, though not unwelcome, surprise when the team’s star member, the hyper-articulate Ginny Ryerson, approaches Hal on the school bus one afternoon.
The Plainsboro debaters need a replacement for Ginny’s former partner, the brilliant Ben Wekselbaum, who dropped out of school following a calamitous performance at the New Jersey State High School Policy Debate Championships the previous spring.
Ginny, who can compress an eight minute argument into ten seconds without breaking a sweat, dropping a word, or botching a barb, proceeds to present her case for Hal’s potential as a public speaker. She has seen Hal, she has seen his promise. Hal is more than just shocked, or even dazed; he’s smitten.
||Effie T. Brown, Sean Welch
||Reece Thompson, Anna Kendrick, Nicholas D'Agosto, Vincent Piazza, Margo Martindale, Aaron Yoo, Josh Kay, Stephen Park, Maury Ginsberg, Utkarsh Ambudkar, Denis O'Hare, Lisbeth Bartlett, Jonah Hill