No one is going to mistake The Late Bloomer for great cinema, that’s for sure. It’s only mildly amusing at times (thanks largely to the supporting cast) but it has a sweet heart and wants you to feel for the characters, at least most of them.
To recap, the story follows Peter Newmans (Johnny Simmons), a 30 year old who makes a living helping people get out of the grip of sexual desire. Through a book and a series of self-help seminars, he tells people to redirect the energy they use pursuing sex in other areas. Through an accident he discovers a brain tumor has kept him from going through puberty and once the tumor is removed he’s awakened in all sorts of ways. All that complicates the friendly relationship he has with his neighbor Michelle (Brittany Snow), who he hides the embarrassing truth from for most of the story.
When the movie was being marketed ahead of its limited theatrical and on-demand release (it’s currently on Netflix) it came off as a very slight adult sex comedy that went for the lowest common denominator for jokes about a grown man who’s finally going through a sexual awakening. There were lots of gags about the size of Peter’s peter and glimpses into the pipe he lays after finally going through his change.
And that’s about it for the movie as well. There’s one aspect of the story that wasn’t hinted at in the marketing, a continued change for Peter that plays a big part of creating the conflict driving the action in the third act. Other than that, the trailers and other elements pretty accurately sold a movie that doesn’t try to go too deep into what a situation like this actually means or the repercussions it might have. It wants nothing more than to be a mildly amusing, kind of heartfelt story about growing up behind the curve and it more or less succeeds on that level.