The blurb on the back of the sleeve for Ready? Ok! called it a "family comedy," so naturally I expected to watch something funny. Aside from a scene where Josh’s mother loses control over him and Alex, her brother, during a live television taping, there really wasn’t too much to laugh about.
Maybe it was the array of serious issues that the movie covered that cast a blanket of sadness over it. Josh is the perky wannabe cheerleader son of jaded single parent Andrea. She’s so busy worrying about her job and money that she makes up for it by controlling everyone in her family.
The lack of understanding for her situation as sole bread winner is compounded by her own mother, who purposely does things like smoke cigarettes around her while knowing that she hates it. Alex, a perpetual bum, comes and goes, adding instability and uncertainty to Josh’s life.
To top it off, Josh attends a Catholic school, where priests and nuns make sure little boys and girls follow strict gender norms. The fact that Josh has a little trouble keeping to the rules bothers his mother. The fear that Josh may very well not be heterosexual keeps her fretting.
Despite the pressures of rigid conformity, Josh carries on in his own way. He stays true to himself and gains help from Charlie, his gay neighbor. There are many tense scenes as his mother continues to fight Josh’s nature.
Unlike his mother and the school, Josh accepts things as they are. Instead of giving up on his dreams, he works like a busy bee to succeed. Charlie also stands firm, despite the friction Andrea causes with her fears.
In the end, it’s all about perseverance and acceptance. Each character learns and changes. While the movie wraps up in triumph, I hardly agree that it can be considered a comedy. It is too much to expect Josh’s optimism to brighten a film that harbors so much sadness.