8:00 PM, 4th April, 2001
Professor Tripp (Douglas) wrote a good novel seven years ago, and is now struggling to repeat such form in his second novel. He has been so engrossed in trying to finish his endless second novel over the years, that both his marriage and his subsequent affair with the college dean are in trouble. Now, to complicate things, throw in two students: James Leer (Maguire), a compulsive liar who shoots Grady's lover's blind dog; and a cute student (played by Katie Holmes) who boards with Grady, and has a huge crush on him. Things come to a head one weekend during the college's annual literary festival when Tripp must deal with James, sort out his love interests, deal with a dead dog on his hands, and keep his publishing agent (Downey Jr.) at bay. Wonder Boys is a quirky film with a cast of eccentric characters and some funny moments. Sure it is not Oscar-winning material, but Maguire gives a strong performance, and Holmes ensures that the film holds the interest of the audience. Although it has a few minor flaws, it is both watchable and entertaining.