It's been a long time since I've read Peter Farrelly's semi-autobiographical look at growing up, but the movie version(directed by friend-of-Farrelly Michael Corrente) manages to be both humorous and sweet, as I remember the book being. One of the film's suprises in definitely Alec Baldwin, who plays Timothy's tough father to perfection - although he seems tough on the outside, he is happy to have his son given the opportunity to maybe get a better education at a private school.
It's a fairly simple story. Timothy Dunphy(Shawn Hatosy) spends his days and nights hanging out with his friends in his small town, until one night he gets in an accident with a parked cop car. The result is that he finds himself sent to a private prep school where the list of rules is a mile long. To simplify - no fun allowed. During his stay, he meets Jane Weston(a very good performance by Amy Smart from "Varsity Blues").
Although this was marketed as a "Farrelly Brothers" movie, it's not as much of the "gross-out" humor that their movies like "Something About Mary" contained. Although not much of it is terribly "new", all of the elements work well enough to make not only the dramatic moments, but the humorous ones work well, too. Smart and Hatosy are very good together, as well. It's a sweet and charming flick though, and definitely worth a look.
VIDEO: Ever since Disney started doing anamorphic transfers, they've done some excellent work, from 13th Warrior to In Too Deep. "Outside Providence" is anamorphic and presented in the film's original 1.85:1 aspect ratio, and the image quality is gorgeous. A clear, sharp picture that has good detail, the picture remains bright and consistent throughout. When the film moves from the small town to the private school, the picture looks beautiful. Taking place in the fall, the trees contain wonderful looking autumn colors. Colors in general look very natural and pleasing throughout.
Aside from an instance or two of shimmering, this is a great looking presentation with some beautiful scenery in the film. Very, very good image quality.
SOUND: "Outside Providence" is mainly dialogue driven, but the film's classic rock soundtrack sounds fantastic, strong and very enveloping. Surrounds aren't used often, and dialogue is clear and natural. The music is definitely the highlight.
MENUS:: Pretty basic main menu simply taken from the cover art.
EXTRAS: Yikes. Absolutely nothing is included on this release from Disney - not even a trailer. Their usual "Film Recommendations" are there, but I hardly consider that much of an extra.
The Film B+
Video 93/A = (372/400 possible points)
Audio: 87/B = (348/400 possible points)
Extras: 10/F = (30/300 possible points)
Menus: 70/C- = (140/200 possible points)
Value: 78/C = (234/300 possible points)
FILM GRADE: B+
DVD GRADE: C-