Driving Lessons - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Driving Lessons Reviews

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September 29, 2015
Half measured coming of age film that squanders it;s few fine performances.
August 11, 2015
C'mon, it's the kid from Harry Potter!
½ March 20, 2015
charming coming of age story
Super Reviewer
½ September 5, 2014
It's nice to see Walters and Grint have more screen time than their Potter films and they work well off each other but the whole film is too calculated and Linney's annoying character doesn't get the comeuppance she deserves. Walters is on the verge of hamming the whole thing up but pulls it back enough at certain times to remind you how great she can be with the right material. Unfortunately this isn't it. Lightweight British comedy (?) fare.
August 1, 2014
½ July 11, 2014
Julie Walters was obviously brilliant but I'm not sure the plot entirely worked all the way through: the relationships between characters and what they said didn't always feel 100% believable: I also felt more could have been done with the way religion was presented other than as purely in what seemed to me to be in a negative light. Despite this there were still some great moments and it was overall enjoyable. Rupert Grint's performance felt a bit too 'sensitive' at times but it was pretty good and I didn't see him at all as Ron. As a 'coming of age' I did like some of the lessons he learnt although it's definitely not the best I've seen in the genre.
½ July 5, 2014
Julie Walters is always good! A fun Friday night watch!!
April 12, 2014
The general story reminded me a lot of Harold And Maude, but this is a movie of a lesser quality. Julie Walters has quite the foul mouth, which really turned me off. I also found it boring, although I have a hard time finding interest in most independent British films. (First and only viewing - In my mid-twenties)
January 30, 2014
UK. Cute! Rupert Grint and Julie Walters (both from Harry Potter films).
January 14, 2014
Moving and sweet movie
December 16, 2013
Rupert Grint? Isn't that Ron Weasley? Hmm... might have to check it out.
December 9, 2013
Driving Lessons
This movie, starring Rupert Grint, is about a shy seventeen year old boy Ben who lives with his minister father and self-righteous mother while trying to bring himself into manhood. His life began a huge jump start when he started working for a retired actress who turned out to be quite eccentric. I found it quite unbelievable that a seventeen year old boy could find a best friend in an elderly woman but for Ben she turned out to be just what he needed while his family life was being completely controlled by his overbearing mother. His mother Laura had fallen for the assistant minister of their church and knowing that her marriage would soon end she held onto Ben as tightly as she could to not lose him as well.
Driving Lessons is not what I would consider a quality film or one that I enjoyed and would watch again. There were a lot of scenes in the movie that were directed poorly, for example the driving lesson at the beginning of the movie where he just does not simply step on the brake like the instructor asks but he instead runs into a pole. The scene where the mother comes into Bens room at night crying, lying next to him, and speaking about something cryptic was both awkward and confusing with no hint before or after it happened to why the characters were acting how they did and that theme carried on in other parts during the movie. The dramatic scenes that were in the movie seemed to be really played out by the actors and got to the point that their conversations were not normal altercations.
Ben?s character was the only one that went through any major character development during the movie. You could say the Evie had her changes but as an eccentric and alcoholic she was pretty set in her ways and really affected the changes in Ben in his journey into becoming ?his own man.? With all the dislike I felt for the movie there were also some things that I did like about it out. I felt that the lesson of being your own man is always a theme that every guy wants to live up to in their life.
I also liked the soundtrack of the movie, I felt the presence of the songs as they came in and even though the movie had been depressing at times the soundtrack led me to think that Ben would turn it around for himself. The length of the movie was not too long to which was to the benefit of it, but a 1 hour and 40 minutes is a usual runtime for this type of comedic movie. Since the movie was titles ?Driving Lessons? inherently I assumed that by the end of the movie he would have officially earned his driving license and even though the movie turned out not being about a driving exam at all I was still plenty upset that what seemed to be the goal of the title never happened or even made mentioned.
I personally did not like the movie Driving Lessons and would not recommend it to anybody who is looking to watch a comedy, drama, or British film. I also believe that the movie itself was lacking in excitement in individual scenes and the overall plot.
December 8, 2013
Driving Lessons
Some people like emotion in there comedies others prefer dry humor or also known as deadpan. In the film Driving Lessons dry humor is expressed throughout the movie along with dramatic scenes of two poets coming together as friends. Unlike a lot of critics I fancied the movie and appreciated the drama along with the deadpan humor. The main reason why the movie gained my interest is through its setting, characters and the way Jeremy Brock gave closure to his film.
The first piece of evidence to myself enjoying this film is the area where it took place. It took place in three rural areas of London. One of the places is in the northern part of London called Tottenham, their culture is rich with soccer. Another area is known as Hampstead which became part of London in 1889. The last piece of land that Brock used in his setting was Parliament Hill or also known as "The Hill." All of these places shared the beauty of some sort of natural scenery that drew me into the movie.
Another way that the movie gained my attention is the characters and there different personalities. The two biggest people that caught my attention was Laura and Evie. Laura sticks out because she is very controlling as a mother to the main character Ben. She is also overly protective of him. Laura's also hypocritical by trying to be part of the church while committing adultery with a man named Peter. The other character that seemed interesting was Evie Walton. She seemed very dramatic when she and Ben were running lines from Shakespeare plays. She also showed a wild side to her when she shoplifted from an outdoor store. These two characters are exciting and keep the film alive with their actions and personalities.
The last thing from the dramatic comedy that interested me was the way that Brock ended his story. Through bens challenging sheltered life the author managed to come away with a good closure. He shows this by his mother receiving karma and his father asking for a divorce. Ben grows into his new manhood and connects with his father in the conclusion.
Speaking of conclusions, Brocks dry humor may not be appreciated by most people, but I find it interesting. Following this movie I feel looking for other deadpan focused films would be in my good fortune. Through the entire film the three things that drew me to it were the dramatic characters, beautiful scenery and the conclusion. This film has acquired me to do research on drama, London and my new liking of dry humor.
½ November 26, 2013
Directed by Jeremy Brock, Driving lessons is an unofficial story of how influential the people in your life can be. Playing the lead role of a teenage boy named Ben is Rupert Grint. It starts out with Ben taking his driving test and failing, again. He asks his mother if he could have someone else tech him how to drive, considering she was only teaching him with her own experience. Playing Laura, his mother, is Laura Linney, who comes across as very strict and heavy handed on her only son. She holds him at extremely high standards and pushes him to participate in church events and charity events whether he wants to or not. When she takes in a needy stranger, she even guilts him into getting a job to help the stranger out. Now Ben has to find a job on foot because his mother is more focused on a handsome gentleman from the church, than teaching her son to drive.
He finds a job offering from an old actress named Evie Walton played by Julie Walters. She seems to need help with her garden and keeping up with the house. While working for Evie he finds that she hired him mainly because she is a very lonely woman and needs some company. She asks him to read through old scripts and recite plays with her, and thus, strengthening Bens love of poetry. Ben had no one to share this with as everyone thought it was odd and maybe a little bit homosexual. However, Evie understood and would listen to his poems and share some of her own. Ben grew close to this eccentric actress just as fast as his mother grew further away from him. Laura did not believe that Evie was a good influence on her son, but it turns out that she is the exact opposite. She taught him how to be outgoing and adventurous, as any seventeen year old boy should be. She gave him the gumption to ask out the girl he likes and eventually lose his virginity to her.
Jeremey Brock hit the nail right on the head with the cast. Julie Walters has a wonderfully perfect personality for the part of an eccentric actress because she happens to actually be an eccentric actress. Anyone watching the film could tell that she enjoys herself in this movie and loves what she does. I believe that is extremely important to any film's success. Rupert Grint is also magnetic to the camera. He has an on-set personality and really captures the character's spirit. Also, due to the hit-series Harry Potter, Grint and Walters had a previous on screen relationship as mother and son. The series that spanned most of Grint's life, was shared with Walters and it is visible in this film. Laura Linney as the conservative sheltering mother was on key with the rhythm of the film. Linney provided a religious yet sinful experience as she ventures onto other men in the church. She added special touches that cannot be scripted or directed. She played a wonderful motherly, yet un-motherly role and it meshed wonderfully with Grints confused, coming of age teenage boy accent in the film.Out of five stars, I would give Driving Lessons three and a half. It is a charming and cute movie and depicts the life of an average British teenager well. However, it was a bit predictable and cliché.
½ November 26, 2013
The movie Driving Lessons directed by Jeremy Brock, is a great coming of age story for a young teenage boy named Ben who is played by Rubert Grint. It is mixed with drama and dry humor. You have to have a certain taste in movies to enjoy this film.
In the beginning of the film it starts with what you except, Ben driving in a student driver vehicle. Then it takes a complete 180 and most of the film is about Bens struggles in life with his crazy mom that is a religious vanadic, him being shy and awkward around people at school, and him trying to find his purpose in life. The way Jeremy makes Bens mom be such a religious vanadic makes me as the audience think that she is the main reason why Ben is the way he is.
The acting in some parts of this movie is complete crap. For example whenever they gather around the dinner table and discussed how their day was or what the upcoming events are for the family it seemed like the acting just did not flow. They forced the emotion and the words out of their mouths like they had to because they are getting paid for it. Also at the dinner table that is when I noticed that the mom wore the pants in the family. The father did not really have any input on what is best for Ben and basically kept his mouth shut.
Now there are some good parts of this movie don't get me wrong. When Ben takes the job to take care of Eve Walton whom in this movie is a retired actress, Ben starts to take a little risk in his life. Eve opens up his view on life to not just getting by but being spontaneous and living a little. You start to see a change in Ben after taking care of Eve. It comes clear that he is at a cross roads in his life. The life of a crazy religious fool like his mom or to be his own person and stand up for himself and do what he loves, which is writing poetry in this film.
Ben comes to his decision by the end of the movie obviously and of course it is the typical stand up to your crazy mom and do your own thing decision. His dad also grew some confidence and asked for a divorce after that insane mom gets hit by a car drove by some random guy that they took in to their home. Honestly this movie is terrible and I would not recommend anyone to watch it unless they had to for a class. You will never get that hour and thirty eight minutes back in your life do not bother with this film. Unless you enjoy terrible acting, religious vanadic being a center roll in the plot, and annoying English accents.
November 26, 2013
Jonathan Washington
Peter Faziani
English Comp 1
15 November 2013

Driving Lessons Review

I have recently watched the movie "Driving
Lessons." Starring Rupert Grint also known for his role as the famous Harry Potter?s right hand man Ronald Weasley. This movie takes place in upscale London England, and tells a story about a shy withdrawn teenaged poet named Ben Marshall. Ben comes from a less than ideal home life, because he has to endure the behavior of an over protective and dominate mother played by another Harry Potter co-star Laura Linney. He also has a submissive and weak-willed father played by Nicholas Farrell.
During the course of the movie
Ben deals with internal issues, situational problems and a
one near tragedy that he overcomes. What I really like about this movie is that it includes some accurate typical teenaged boy events and happenings for example; having a high school crush, being shy, having sex for the first time, and lastly learning how to drive. In my opinion those were good relatable elements to most teenages added to the plot. Furthermore, this movie was a good length and not excessively long, but it was long enough to tell the story effectively.
A great aspect about this movie was its
humor, particularly regarding to the scenes featuring Evie played by Julie Walters. Evie is Ben?s charismatic, expressive and spontaneous employer. This movie differs from any other movie I have watched because it shows the main character (Ben) witnessing and unknowingly play a small part in his mother?s ultimate act of betrayal to her family. In one particular scene, Ben?s mother had him chauffeur her to the man?s house she was having an affair with, the scene was a sunny and bright afternoon, but it soon got dull and infuriating for Ben knowing that he unintentionally assisted his mother?s unfaithful act, and as I watched I got somewhat angry for Ben as well; but in my opinion that part of the movie was definitely the most eye opening experiences of the whole movie that Ben was faced with.
Overall, in my opinion this was a very good movie. It teaches a lesson not only to the main character but also to the viewers if you are able to catch it, and it shows the main character (Ben) coming into maturity extremely well. In addition, the character Evie and all of her spontaneous missions she drags Ben on really makes funny and enjoyable. This movie was truly a good one
November 25, 2013
The movie Driving Lessons was an acceptable film. Although, personally, I did not enjoy the particular film I will still give it justice that in a whole it was a well put together 'dramatic comedy.' Driving Lessons for me was not a movie I would watch in my free time. I did not exactly figure out how this was considered anything close to a comedy. I may have a different idea of what is funny as to what is not funny, and this movie I would consider as one that was not humorous. The music I saw fit to each scene. The actors and actresses I saw fit to each character. Driving Lessons was just my cup of tea. The accents at times were difficult to understand, along with the vocabulary of the specific characters. I thought that the scene where the main character, Ben, gets in the accident to start out the film was too exaggerated. I also thought that the meeting and night between Ben and the lady in the hotel should have been dragged out or possibly brought back up at the end. All together it was very plain and boring, and it did not hold my attention. Therefore, yes, these few critiques being my personal opinion, I still thought the movie was a solid movie. I just did not take interest in the film.
November 23, 2013
Life Lessons
Jeremy Brock filmed a movie in 2006 called Driving Lessons. The film is about a young boy named Ben played by Rupert Grint who's life changed when he got a job working for an elderly Dame called Evie, acted by Julie Walters. Ben is a typical 17 year old who lives a life as a humble Christian boy living under his mother's high Christian laws and never knows when to stand up for himself. One of the things that Ben's mother really wants him to do is to get a job to financially help a mentally ill patient that she adopted into their home, and by doing this it will change Ben's life forever. Ben decides to become Evie Walton's paid companion in order to help. Being forced to go onto exciting camping trips and doing strange acting lessons has helped Ben see what he truly loves which is art and poetry. The film has a unique plot line, believable actors and life lesson shown through symbolism.
The plot line took a different approach on showing a boy growing up. There is the overly protective mother who "knows" what is best for Ben, but there is an added twist. This twist is Evie, she took Ben under her wing and taught him about the life of acting and how it can change a person. The scene where Ben is in Evie's backyard and she wants him to help recite line from old plays she used to be a part of was a great way of showing Ben stepping out of his element. By doing this Ben was able discovery who he is and not care of what the world thinks.
Besides the film's uniqueness of life lessons and dealing with the arts and poetry, Brock decided to pick two very well known and loved actors both from the popular movie Harry Potter. Both actors in this film had such a strong impact on their characters that not once did you ever have the sense of wizards and magic, instead the power of art and the love of friendship. In the scene when Evie and Ben are camping, Ben tells Evie one of his poems that he wrote for a girl that he loved. Evie saw the power and the sentiment behind Ben's words on the paper and wishes other people could understand it as well. She seems to be the only person who will listen to him because when he read his poem to the girl he loved, she just laughed at his face. In a way Ben's poetry is a symbol of Driving Lessons itself. The reason why is because you can tell that this film was not successful for everyone. Those who can read the fine print will appreciate the film just as Evie does with Ben's poems.
November 21, 2013
Driving lessons directed by Jeremy Brock was an overall enjoyable movie for me. I thought that the main theme of this movie was coming of age. A young 17 year old boy who is confused about life has two very overwhelming women trying to control him. His mother a very strict, religious woman does not want Ben to be his own man. She shelters him from everything, for example in the movie Ben asks his mom for a cell phone and she replies angrily and tells him no because it will give him cancer. His mother keeps his schedule very tight, she has something for him to do at every moment, whether it?s go to church, help her with her play, hand out food to the ederly, or driving lessons with only her. Ben?s father is a quit man, he is a pastor but is very much over ruled by Laura. Ben gets a part-time job with another woman who is completely opposite of his mother. She is a free spirit she thinks that Ben should experience everything; despite of the rules his mother sets for him. She is a very live in the moment person, and wants Ben to be too.
The characters in the movie play their parts very well. To me the acting was kind of over dramatic but for this movie it worked. The movie was centered around Ben?s life and I think we saw the characters the same way Ben was seeing them. I did find it odd that Evie and Ben also played Molly and Ron Weasley in the very famous Harry Potter series. It was just hard to see these characters acting in a different movie together playing the roles of strangers.
The title of the movie ?Driving Lessons? was used as a metaphor to describe Ben?s life. Ben was a passive boy living the life his mother chose for him. Once he met Evie everything changed. Evie needed Ben to drive her places so she gave him driving lessons. Ben took more than the ability to drive from her. He learned how to grow as his own person. Ben learned not to be quit and passive, he learned to use his voice. Evie taught him that he was his own person and that nobody could control his every action, including his mother.
November 21, 2013
This movie was crashing dumb! The title has nothing to do with the movie except some 18 year old boy who cannot drive without a guardian who does have a license. In the beginning of the movie, it shows Ben failing the test, and now has to take lessons with his mother Laura.
But other than that, it has nothing to deal with him getting lessons or retaking the driving test.
This movie is based on a Christian family and an old lady, Eve Walton, getting intoxicated. It symbolizes this Christian family to the extreme max, and makes it a bad appearance to be Christian, because the family bases their worship on Christ, and is overly irrational. The mother, Laura, is a demanding person and cheats on her husband, Robert. As the movie displays, Laura tells Ben he cannot go camping, although his father told him he could. This is an example that she is demanding, and controls the family, or in other words, wears the pants in the family. Also, with the eccentric old lady, it shows her being drunk most of the time, and has to have her way no matter what is going on. At one point in the movie, Ben is walking into the house and finds Ms. Walton on the ground passed out and drunk. What old lady in her day of age gets that drunk and vomits when she wakes up?
Another result that made this movie not worthy is because it is known as a comedy/drama. It is not even close to being comedy; I may have laughed once or twice in it because it was something ridiculous. As others said in parts of the movie that was funny was when Eve was asking Ben if he was gay on the bus or when she swallowed the car key. Students laughed during this time of the movie. But it is wrong and gross on both examples of the movie. An examples of comedy movies are: Bad Grandpa, We're the Millers, and This is the End. Those movies are known as comedy, not Driving Lessons.
On a positive note, the actors played really well in the characters. Rupert Grint did a great job on Ben, playing as a timid and obedient child, then growing up to be a young man that can stand up for himself, and Julie Walters playing as the wild old lady, Eve Walton. This is probably one good thing about this movie. Director Jeremy Brock did a well job on choosing what actors to play in his characters.
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