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Driving Lessons

  PG-13 HD Closed Captioning

Jeremy Brock

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Plot Summary

Two strong-willed women wield their influence on a shy teenaged boy in this coming-of-age comedy from the United Kingdom. Seventeen-year-old Ben (Rupert Grint) is the son of a soft-spoken vicar (Nicholas Farrell), but it's his mother, Laura (Laura Linney), who rules the household, and she has put Ben cheerfully under her thumb, keeping him busy with a variety of good-will errands for the church and numerous local charity causes. With summer vacation looming before him, Ben is looking forward to learning to drive, but Laura is more interested in spending time with one of the more charming members of the church staff than helping Ben learn how to operate the family automobile. Wanting to earn some pocket money, Ben starts looking for a part-time job and ends up working for Evie Walton (Julie Walters), an elderly and slightly eccentric actress who needs help keeping her garden in shape. Laura believes Evie isn't an especially good influence on her son, though Ben is happy to find someone who encourages his interest in poetry and the larger world (especially girls). One day, Evie announces that she needs to ride to Edinburgh, where she is supposed to give a reading as part of the city's massive music and arts festival. While Ben doesn't have his license, he volunteers to take the wheel, and soon he's confronted with various forms of decadence that his mother has frequently warned him to avoid. Driving Lessons received its North American premiere at the 2006 Tribeca Film Festival.

Credits

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews

TOMATOMETER

48%
  • Reviews Counted: 75
  • Fresh: 36
  • Rotten: 39
  • Average Rating: 5.2/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: With the aid of a charmingly offbeat story and a jolly good dialect coach, the stars leave you thinking, well done. Their spirited performances help cover up glaring holes in the plot. – Ruthe Stein, San Francisco Chronicle, Oct 21, 2006

Rotten: Everybody in the movie is so tightly wound that Walters seems a model of actorly limberness. – Wesley Morris, Boston Globe, Nov 24, 2011

Rotten: The movie's life-affirmative agenda is ploddingly clear. – Desson Thomson, Washington Post, Jul 16, 2008

Fresh: Driving Lessons doesn't represent a zenith in the subgenre, and it trades on some feeble character ploys, but it's a kick to watch Julie Walters do a barmy-charmer bit on Rupert Grint. – Amy Biancolli, Houston Chronicle, Jun 24, 2010

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

Driving Lessons is amazing!!!

I originally wanted to see this movie because it has Rupert Grint from the Harry Potter movies. That was the only reason. But, after seeing it, I was like, wow, what a great movie, and extremely different from what I expected. The story of how Ben (Rupert Grint) comes of age is amazing. Laura Linney, as the over-controlling mother is simply amazing. If I had a mother as over-bearing as her character, I would be scared. Julie Walters as Evie was amazing, too. She was over-dramatic, being a former actress, but she was real. She helps Ben to learn more about the world, and she helps him come of age. Seriously, watch this movie. IT ROCKS!!

Really inspirational!

Julie Walters is wonderful in this movie, as is Rupert Grint and Laura Linney. But truly, Walters steals the show and shows that we cannot fear life, but embrace every second. Spontaneity is the key to an enjoyable life. Beautiful!

The Greatest Movie Ever Made.

I'm the type of person who loves movies. Really, really love movies. And despite the amount of love I have towards certain movies, I have to say this is probably the greatest movie ever made. I love it!

Driving Lessons
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  • $12.99
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Released: 2007

Customer Ratings