Special (2006)

58% – Critics
63% – Audience

Special Storyline

LES FRANKEN (Michael Rapaport) leads a painfully unremarkable life as a metermaid until he enrolls in a drug study for an experimental anti-depressant. An unexpected side effect of the drug convinces Les he is developing special powers and must quit his job to answer his new calling in life – Superhero. A very select group of people in life are truly gifted. Special is a movie about everyone else.—Lawrence Fells

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Special Movie Reviews

A seriously under-rated masterpiece

I love this film. It’s a bittersweet tale of life, loneliness, expectancy, and fulfilment.

The acting is superb, the storyline is original. The director gives the audience all the information in a concise way, enabling the viewers to immediately understand the scenario, and be able to both laugh at and sympathise with the protagonist throughout the rest of the movie.

Rapaport is incredible. His performance is under-stated and fits the character and the situation like a glove.

There is nothing wrong with this film at all. It’s clever, it’s funny, it’s sad, and most of all, it’s entertaining. I could watch this film over and over again. I was touched in the end. This is a lovely film.

Drop everything, I mean EVERYTHING, and see this movie!

Aside from the time I spilled hot coffee on my lap during “Fiddler on the Roof”, I’d say this is one of the most powerful experiences I’ve had while watching a movie.

This quirky gem of a film is 25% comedy, 25% tragedy, 25% feel-good, 25% depressing, and 100% awesome. Starting off with the most preposterous plot (i.e., a lonely metermaid guy develops special abilities and fights crime while running from strange men in suits), it quickly develops into much more than meets the eye. It’s essentially the story of the lone, forgotten individual who’s trying to make a difference in this world. In that respect, it can be a sad film. But at the same time it can be funny, warm and deeply inspiring.

Thanks largely to an absolutely brilliant performance by Michael Rapaport as the metermaid guy, this movie takes you on a crazy ride through every emotion you’ve ever had and some you haven’t had yet. I laughed, felt sad, felt angry, felt the warm fuzzies, felt pity and felt empowered. I can’t remember the last time I cared so much about a movie character. It’s funny because I began watching this film not liking him very much (after all, who likes metermaids??), but quickly he became one of the most lovable misfits since “Amélie”.

Never have I seen the plight of the superhero so wonderfully presented and fleshed out in human terms. Whether we wear a cape or not, we’re all trying to change the world in our own ways. You, yes you sitting there reading this, could be a superhero. This movie presents us with that idea, and (unlike Spiderman, Batman, Catwoman, etc) it does not slip into fantasy territory where we lose touch with our perspective. Instead it remains firmly rooted in reality and thus allows us to see ourselves in the hero’s role. That’s where this movie draws its power to affect us. It’s the story of us all. Watch it and learn about yourself & the people around you.

Other great, obscure movies that this reminded me of: a Michael Keaton film called “The Merry Gentleman” (2008), a must-see Korean movie called “The Foul King” (2000), and a powerful Australian flick called “Noise” (2007).

Promising Debut for Writer/Directors and Rapaport is Super

Special is a very enjoyable movie that includes some of the best acting by Michael Rapaport and an extremely promising debut from first time directors Hal Haberman & Jeremy Passmore. The movie is shot on a low budget which negatively effects the look of the film as well as the music and titling. The story and acting however rise above this and create a very entertaining and ultimately gratifying movie.

Rapaport’s role as a delusional meter maid who thinks he becomes a superhero is one that the audience can laugh at, yet identify with. The film does a great job of balancing the humor with drama and Rapaport plays out his character very well. I was skeptical before I saw the film but any hesitations I had were gone by the end of the first act.

Writer and directors Hal Haberman & Jeremy Passmore did an incredibly good job with the script. The movie seemed to remain alive throughout the duration of the film with very few slow points. Again, the blend of humor and drama was amazing and Hal & Jeremy showed capability beyond most seasoned Hollywood filmmakers.