The problem with Rocket Science is that the character at the center of the drama isn't very energetic or, truth be told, interesting. This makes it difficult at times to remain engaged in the unfolding tale.
It is not always a deal-killer to step outside the trappings of realism, but the bland visuals don't match the precious absurdity and profound rapid-fire dialogue of the high school kids, so the film rings false and tries too hard.
...a slight coming of age tale with some natural moments, yes, but also with obvious humor (when there is any), racist undertones, and an underwhelming lead. Rocket Science never made me crack a smile.