Published Mar 01, 2004Based loosely on a true story, The Blue Butterfly is a well-intentioned children's drama plagued by an overwritten script, which unfortunately lessens the impact of the tale that inspired it.
Pete Carlton (Marc Donato) is a boy with terminal brain cancer and an insect obsession. His dying wish is to travel to Costa Rica to catch a rare Blue Morpho Butterfly, which is alleged to have mystical powers. Pete enlists the help of his hero, famed entomologist Alan Osborne, who reluctantly agrees to accompany the wheelchair-bound boy and his mother (Pascale Bussieres) to the rainforest. Inspiring and heart-warming adventures inevitably ensue.
The film's weak script blends awkward dialogue, unnecessary voiceovers and cheesy Hollywood dramatic tricks to obscure the heart of the story: Pete's struggle to overcome adversity. Quebecoise director Léa Pool, whose early films (Emporte-moi and A Corps Perdu) were rightfully acclaimed, seems to have lost her directorial way with her recent foray into English-language filmmaking. (Her last effort, Lost and Delirious, suffered from a similarly terrible script.)
Of course, it's not too hard to make the rainforest beautiful to look at, and for the amateur entomologists out there, this movie is practically insect porn. It's just a shame that an inherently compelling and heart-warming story gets nearly buried in the attempt to fabricate dramatic situations and manipulate our heartstrings. (Alliance Atlantis)