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WHEN ZACHARY BEAVER CAME TO TOWN

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In this light but faintly bittersweet coming-of-age drama from John Schultz, a sideshow fat boy, Zachary Beaver (Sasha Joseph Neulinger), is temporarily abandoned in the small Texas town of Granger. Zachary's arrival coincides with numerous upheavals in the life of Toby, a bespectacled, easy-going kid. Toby (Jonathan Lipnicki) and his pal befriend the New Jersey-bred, extra ornery, 300-pound-plus Zachary, eventually finding common ground in their assorted woes. It's tough to be a pre-teen when life deals adult-sized blows. Yet for those still on the cusp of childhood naiveté, some problems can be solved with the right bit of impulsive silliness. Zachary remains just this side of quirky, mostly comes by its small charms honestly, and manages to feel as low-key as its lovingly depicted late-afternoon summer days, even as half-a-dozen tumultuous events occur in just a week's time. Starts Wed., March 23. Oaks

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