While I appreciate the anger felt by Casey towards the sacrilegious Christmas display, the use of profanity and references to drinking to excess and sexual intercourse seem to go a bit far. I'm technically not offended by the writers' mockery of nuns, and I enjoy the generosity the boys show towards their old neighbor, but the coming of age genre just doesn't resonate with me as much as you might think. Maybe it's because I was God and without sin and all that as a child. Don't get me wrong: I love the kids. It's just as a viewer, I'm totally thinking these middle school and high school movies just do it for any of the pre-20th century generations. Mainly because we were WORKING or married at that age, not trying to get away with stealing donuts from nuns in middle school or driving around in SUVs to impress girls.
This story is so much more than hormones exploding, however. It forces readers to ask questions they've been avoiding after ten or twenty years of marriage, like, "What if it had been someone else?" Or, "Why aren't we friends anymore when we had so much fun then?" Or, "What would I have done had I seen a teenager dragging an ATM machine down the road if he was the totally coolest teenager while I was a goofy middle-schooler?" Young readers will enjoy the story because it's them (only without texting). A coming-of-age story that demonstrates how stupid we are when we're young and how stupid we remain once we become adults. But the hero and his resilient sidekick survive the passage into adulthood, only to prove they've gotten nowhere.
Jesus of Nazareth