PLEASE STAND BY (2017)
Story finds Wendy (Dakota Fanning), a once temper-prone, autistic young woman, trying to convince her older sister, Audrey (Alice Eve) that she is ready to come home and can be responsible around Audrey’s baby daughter. At the same time, the Star Trek obsessed Wendy wants to submit a script in a Star Trek script contest sponsored by Paramount Pictures. To enter her script and prove she is a capable and responsible adult, Wendy begins a road-trip to L.A. to deliver her screenplay to the studio, personally, with her panicked counselor (Toni Collette) and worried sister in hot pursuit.
This is a sweet and charming little gem directed by Ben Lewin from script by Michael Golamco, that treats it’s subject with sensitivity, yet without overdosing on melodrama. Fanning’s nerdy Wendy is a very endearing character and it’s actually fun to watch this determined young woman try to overcome the constraints of her condition, accomplish her goals and prove she can be functional and responsible like everyone else. The script never pities it’s subject, just presents them as everyday people who face different challenges than the rest of us. The Star Trek angle is also fun, too, as Wendy can match the biggest nerd in Trek lore and maybe understands the characters better than most. The cast are all exceptional, especially lead Fanning, who really makes Wendy a three dimensional person we can emotionally invest in. A sweet, charming and sometimes fun little gem that treats it’s subject with the respect and sensitivity it deserves. Also stars Happy Death Day’s Jessica Rothe as a devious young mother Wendy encounters on her journey and an appearance by TV legend Marla Gibbs as a sympathetic senior. Highly Recommended.