How to Eat Fried Worms falls back on Tom Cavanaugh and Kimberly Williams-Paisley - friendly faces from TV given few lines and limited screen time. Small roles for enjoyable character actors James Rebhorn as the school principal and Andrea Martin as Billy's teacher would be more satisfying if the adult actors weren't made to look like fools in the kids' eyes.

None of this will concern the younger circuit, who will identify with Billy and enjoy watching him outsmart his domineering opponent. By standing up to Joe, Billy helps other students find the courage to do the same. A further lesson about honesty leads to an enjoyable wrap-up that makes the movie's uneven quality go down a little easier. How to Eat Fried Worms is not a cinematic delicacy by any means, but neither is it difficult to digest. Like a decent fast-food meal, it's bound to please kids but leave adults thinking about their next entrée.

CAUTIONS:

  • Language/Profanity:  Some name-calling, along the lines of "worm boy"; a reference to a worm's sphincter; a boy explains that a "dilly dink" refers to his penis
  • Drugs/Alcohol:  None.
  • Sex/Nudity:  None.
  • Violence:  Bullying; vomiting; boys discuss the legend of a bully's "death ring" that causes those whom the bully punches to die once they reach the 8th grade; a boy shoves another boy down; a boy wishes his brother were "dead, dead, dead"; a hose is sprayed in a boy's face; a tennis racquet to the face; destructive behavior at an arcade.
  • Gross-out Humor:  The film is anchored by several scenes of worms being cooked and eaten, tossed at others, spit out, squished under a roller pin and scraped off … you get the idea.