We've finally figured out Manohla Dargis: She's running a post-modern contest! We're no strangers to prolixity ourselves, but if you can wend your way through the convoluted structure she erects in today's review of How to Eat Fried Worms, consider yourself granted an honorary M.F.A. in comparative literature.
For Billy — whose predictably useless if warmly loving parents (played by Tom Cavanagh and Kimberly Williams-Paisley) can offer him no help, largely because he doesn't tell them what's going on — the crucible of the worms has the potential glory, certain agony and epic dimension of a knight's quest. If he succeeds in completing his gastronomic journey, he earns his freedom and more; if he fails, it will be an exceedingly long school year. For as the worms and his stomach turn, so does his life.