Review: ‘Driving Lessons’ by Jo

published May 2006
written by Jo

The movie starts with Ben riding the bike, as you all know. He is doing chores for older people. It then shows him taking his first driving lesson and the instructor tells him to make a left, but he still keeps going around in circles. The audience laughed at this. Then it shows him running into a tree and again the audience dies. Ben is frustrated with that, but his focus is on Sarah. It shows tiny shots of him looking at her from the corner of his eye.

Family time in their household is just lifeless. This is what I love because you watch them at the dinner table, and they cannot make it through a meal without Laura, whose name is that in the movie, controls everything. She is very cold, but she is supposed to be this Christian Godly person. Ben just takes it. He is quiet and reserved, but when he is alone his real emotions show. His expressions are of somebody who is just lost and hopeless. It is quite sad. You feel for him from the get-go. Laura obviously realizes she is harsh at times because she will come into Ben’s room, lie next to him, and stroke his hair and cry, but he will just lay there and pretend he is asleep.

Tub Scene. He is lying in the tub staring blankly into the ceiling. He is motionless, not blinking or even breathing it looks like. He just looks hypnotized! You see his shoulders and his chest. His upper body here submerged in the water is just sexy as hell. What else can I say? At the time, I was not thinking much of it because you are so into the character and he looks so sad in this shot. Then slowly he begins to sink deeper into the water. He keeps his eyes wide open and he’s still staring through the water at you. When he is completely underneath, bubbles surface and he just lays there until the camera fades from that scene. This to me symbolizes his want for escape.

It also introduces you to him writing his poetry. He will be sitting in bed writing words for Sarah in those hot little silk pajama bottoms! If he hears his mom he will hide his poetry before she makes it into the room. Ben sees Sarah because of bible classes and church. One scene he is standing at the pool fully dressed in a suit and she walks up to him with her friends laughing, and he asks, “Have you gone swimming?” She gives him this mock look like what does it look like! You will see that kind of hold Sarah has on him, but he is a complete man and does not say anything rude back.

It was funny to see Evie rile him up on the bus when she makes the gay comment. At first he whispers, “I’m not gay”, and then as she is still nagging him, “He yells out on the bus, “I’M NOT GAY! “ Everybody looks at him on the bus, and again the audience is just laughing!

One scene he is sort of rummaging through her pictures and she comes into the room screaming. “DON’T TOUCH MY THINGS!” Rupert was wonderful here. He is startled and shocked. He apologizes, and he is literally shaking. One of the first shots of them together is when he visits her and sees her passed out, he rushes to her, and he is panicking because he does not know what has happened.

The drama really happens when Ben asks if he can go camping with Evie. His dad was fine with it, but again, Laura interferes and says his place is at home working on the church play where he plays the tree, and his driving lessons. Well when he gets to Evie and tells her that he cannot go camping, she says it is quite all right and that they should still do something before 6 PM when he has to be home for his driving lesson with his mom.

As it gets later Ben tells Evie that he cannot stay anymore. She puts up a fight with him and asks for the key. You all know how she swallows it and he says “Oh God you swallowed the key.” She says, “Well the boy does swear!” Then he begins to panic and says, “You swallowed the fucking key!” He runs over the car and he is saying, “Shit, my mom will kill me, and Evie is just acting like it’s no big deal. He tries to tell her that she does not know his mom and that he is going to be in so much trouble.

When he calls his mom, she is freaking out. Ben tries to calm her down. She asks if she gave him a pill and he says no he is fine and that he will be back home the next morning. She asks him why and he says, “Evie swallowed the key and we have to wait till she poos it out in the morning! The audience just died when he said this. It was hilarious! It was cold the way the call ended. Laura said, “Fine I will see you when you get here”, and it scared him to death. He kept saying her name into the phone because he knew he was in so much trouble.

Evie hands him back the key the next morning and he is staring at her and then the key, but has no choice at this point. Once on the road, Evie changes the plans again and she tells him that she is dying! She says that the doctors told her that her tits have turned into time bombs! Therefore, now that she has cancer and not enough time left to live, it means the world for her to go to this recital. Ben on the other hand is fuming. He is screaming, “NO I can’ t do this!” He tells her, “YOU ARE BREAKING THE LAW!” This was another funny scene because he is so serious about breaking the law and not having a license!

So they get to the place where she is doing her little recital thing, and Ben is stuck carrying in the luggage. She runs into this young woman by the name of Bryony, as Ben is coming in behind them. Bryony claims she is a fan of hers and chats with her a bit, and then Ben and Evie go to their rooms. Ben comes to Evie and promises that he will be at the recital at 11 AM. It means a lot to Evie, and she tells him that she cannot do it without him! Ben again promises that he will be there.

When Ben leaves Evie, he runs into Bryony. She approaches him and he sort of just stands there like he does not know what to do. His whole face turns red and flustered. Oh my God. So she tells him about this band playing and he just nods. She then asks him if he wants to come with her and he’s like yeah, but he still just stands there in shock. His face is so red and heated, his nostrils flaring. He was brilliant here. Just brilliant! He looked so damn horny. So as he’s still standing there literally panting like a dog, She’s like, “Well should we go!”

They get into the club and it’s just filled with people dancing and partying. Ben is not use to this so he is really uncomfortable. His face is just priceless. He looks so small and uneasy in the crowd. She grabs him a beer and hands it to him, and then moments later she is luring him onto the dance floor. He’s really nervous, but he goes anyway. She starts dancing around him, and he finally gets into it. She places her hands on his hips trying to get him into it. It is so cute because he starts moving his little hips around, and it is really awkward the way he’s moving, but it’s hot. He begins to twirl her around on the dance floor, putting his arm around her waist and getting intimate. He is smiling and laughing and just having a good time. You really are happy for Mr. Ben!

Okay when they get back to her place, she hands him a glass of wine. They are standing in the door way when she immediately asks how old he is. Ben tries to play the cool card here so he casually says, “18 and a half!” The audience just roared when he said this. Then she says, “So is this your first time?” He gives this shrug and says, “Of course not”, and again the audience cracks up by the way he delivers that line. Then he turns away sipping his wine and looks so frightened. But he makes the first move. He leans toward her for a kiss but she pulls away teasingly and then moves toward him and their lips touch. This was just everything and more than I expected.

Rupert looked completely comfortable kissing her. I guess after 15 takes he would be! His lips just captured hers and sort of held on so you could just savor it. Thank you Jeremy. I worship you for this. This was one of the best scenes. After they kiss on the lips, they briefly part, and then they take a step toward the bed. They are still standing up, and holding onto each other His arms around her! This time the kiss is tongue and all. His mouth was just completely closed over hers, and they both looked really into it. He looked as though he enjoyed it thoroughly. And then if that isn’t enough they finally sit on the bed and kiss again and that is when the camera fades to the following morning.

Bryony approaches him with a plate of coffee or tea in her nightgown and it pans to Ben who is barely waking up. He is naked. You see just his chest and shoulders as he is trying to pull the covers up modestly. His arms are well defined. He has perfect little muscles and smooth stunning skin sprinkled with freckles. His skin reminded me of baby powder. He looks at her shyly, as she approaches him. She is glowing with happiness. He realizes he is late for the recital so he hops out of bed! He is naked! You do not see it all of course, but you do see pretty close to seeing his backside when he jumps up. I mean his ass. You get a small glimpse of the lower part of his back just before you get to his butt. I kid you not. I literally lost an eyeball when I seen this because I was not expecting to see so much skin, but you see A LOT OF SKIN! You can see all the way down his sexy back, and as he turns a bit you see his firm stomach, his chest, his nipples and his hipbones leading down to that oh so wonderful place. It last a few seconds, but you see it. I was in shock. It was more than I expected. Bryony, bless her, does all she can to keep him there, but Ben says, “No, when you make a promise to somebody you should keep it!” Bryony says, “You are a lovely boy Ben,” and he says, “Thanks for having me!”

The recital was a failure. Ben gets there late and she is a mess and collapses. He comes to her aid and they leave. I guess the high lights for me is when Ben takes control of the situation. Evie wakes up in the car and just knows that it is over for her. She believes she is a failure. Ben wants her to have another chance to read her work and be the actress he knows she can be. Evie is crying for him not to take her! Evie screams for him to stop the car but he will not listen to her. He finally pulls over and she gets out of the car and he is questioning her as to why she does not want to go, and if she is about to die, and she SCREAMS “I MADE IT ALL UP!” We know she is not dying now, so she takes off down the road and Ben yells, “I forgive you!” The audience just breaks out in awe. Ben chases after her and tells her to get back in the car, but she will not listen to him! He approaches her and they get in each other’s faces.

What a great dramatic scene this was. Rupert was amazing. Julie tells him to shut up and stop quoting the bible because he does not read it! He says, “I do read the bible and you are a LIAR!” It is such a dramatic and heated moment between them. I was just beyond proud of him. He carried that scene so smoothly. He was incredible. He looked so hurt and furious at the same time.

It does get back to Sarah after his mom is injured by the loony old man living with them. Ben is there comforting his mom in the hospital, and when he leaves, Sarah is approaching with flowers. She stops Ben and starts going on and on about his mom and her infidelity. Ben is glaring at her at this point. She is telling him that he is special and a child of God and blah blah blah. He has this stone cold face and just says in the most calmest voice. “Fuck off Sarah.” She looks at him in disbelief and then he aggressively says “FUCK OFF!” It was the best most priceless moment ever! He nailed it so good. The audience was in an uproar.

Other little moments would be when he’s reading the poetry drunk. He does not say God is good. He says GOD IS LOVE. He reads another poem to Evie that he wrote for Sarah and it’s even more bizarre than the one you see online. He quotes it while he’s drunk and he’s using different voices. He’s so out of it. It was great!

There was a shot of him lying down next to Evie in their tent and they are talking about life and poetry and he’s rubbing his stomach. YUM! I just remembered that. Geez so much!

He has so many great lines, but this is one that stands out right now. Wish I could remember them all!
“Remember I’m a poet too Evie, I understand the power of words.” -Ben-

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