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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

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Radio's antics mirror teen struggles

Society tends to disown the people they do not understand. In Radio, James Robert Kennedy, known as Radio, is a mentally slow individual who is not received with open arms by the community. Radio lives in Anderson, South Carolina, in 1976, setting the stage for the story.

The movie begins on a downcast note, portraying Radio [Cuba Gooding Jr.] being abused by some high school football players. Coach Harold Jones [Ed Harris] pities Radio and attempts to get him to open up.

While in the coach’s office, Radio mutters the word “Radio” when he sees Jones listening to some tunes on the radio. The Yellow Jacket’s assistant football coach, Honeycut [Brent Sexton], gives Radio the device, thus sparking a new friendship.

Radio starts helping with the football team, and is soon welcomed and loved by the players, fans, and school. As Radio becomes more verbal, every other word he speaks is encouragement to the football players.

However, some are not so quick to accept Radio. Johnny Clay [Riley Smith] is an aspiring football and basketball star who frequently takes advantage of Radio. Johnny’s father, Frank [Chris Mulkey], would like to see Radio uninvolved with the team and the school.

“I pitied Radio because when he was taped up inside the shed, the football players were hurting him,” Rebecca Wilson, ’06, said. “I think that people often tease other people about how different they are. Overall, it’s nice to know that everyone finally accepted him.”

As Radio is given a chance to be more involved, he grows as a person. Because of the kindness Jones shows, Radio is able to break out of his shell, and the community begins to see the sweet person they have been ignoring.

Viewers react to Radio’s humorous, yet heart-warming antics.

“One of my favorite parts is when Radio is looking for approval of his wardrobe over the phone,” Jennifer Schmidt, ’06, said. “I thought it was funny that he trusted coach Jones so much that he wanted his opinion on his clothes.”

Radio’s innocent, childlike qualities keep the audience rooting for his success. Through all his battles, Radio turns into a stronger person and captivates his small-town community. Through sports, school, friendship, and a lot of love, Radio changes from a diffident, reserved individual into a new person.

Another plotline follows Jones’ constant struggles in his home life. Linda [Debra Winger] is Jones’ steadfast wife and supporter, who attempts to get him to spend more time with his daughter, Mary Helen [Sarah Drew].

Radio easily earns an A. It will make moviegoers cry, keep them constantly laughing at Radio’s quirky personality, and want to jump up and applaud him. The movie’s only flaws are Radio’s two, misshapen front teeth, but even his smile is priceless! In short, Radio, is the cinema’s gem of the year.

Radio is rated PG for mild language and thematic elements. It was writen by Mike Rich and directed by Mike Tollin. It runs one hour and 51 minutes. Radio is currently playing at Edwards 21 Theatres in Riverpark.

For Radio’s official website, visit www.empiremovies.com/movies/2003/radio.html or go to www.sonypictures.com/movies/radio/.” “movies.go.com/movies/R/radio_2003/index.html” “Radio played by Cuba Gooding Jr., left, is taken under the wing of coach Harold Jones [Ed Harris] during the movie, Radio.” “” “” “Empire Movies-Radio

Sony Pictures-Radio

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