Cultures collide when a reclusive, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist befriends a gifted black teenager who stumbles onto his identity in Finding Forrester. The two strike a deal. Jamal Wallace pledges to keep the whiskey-sipping author’s whereabouts a secret. In return, William Forrester (Connery at his crustiest) agrees to help the young man develop his raw talent.
Over time, the pair nurture an unlikely friendship built on trust and respect. It liberates them both. Jamal, who finds it easier to be accepted for his trash talk on the basketball court than for his eloquence on paper, steps out of his comfort zone to attend a prep school. William ventures from his Bronx apartment building for the first time in decades and faces a past that has kept him isolated. The film also addresses issues of racial prejudice, personal integrity, and the tension between a school’s commitment to academics and athletics.
Finding Forrester is one of those movies so brimming with worthwhile themes that even individual lines can ignite discussion. Sadly, that same dialogue is littered with profanity that pushes the limits of the PG-13 rating. There are also sexual references and scenes in which a couple is overheard having sex. Bitterly disappointing.
Forrester tutors Jamal, "You write your first draft with your heart. Then you rewrite with your head." Screenwriters need to use their heads and realize that trimming offensive language is the best way to get a quality picture seen by more families.