The real world has a habit of infiltrating your less-than-adult-like existence and forcing you to accept the fact that you’re no longer a kid — especially when you’re still living with your folks. Yes, in the grand tradition of depressing coming-of-age “comedies” like the shockingly successful Napoleon Dynamite, comes a little indie ditty by the name of Spooner. But, whereas the 2004 hit with the overrated Jon Heder tends to leave former high school geeks that stayed at home far too long like myself combating an all-too familiar and unwanted bitter taste, 2009’s Spooner actually leaves you feeling optimistic about life in general.
Herman Spooner (Matthew Lillard, forever trying to erase Norville “Shaggy” Rogers from his résumé) is, for lack of a better word, a “manchild.” On the verge of turning the big “Three-O,” Herman is perfectly content with living at his childhood home until the end of days, whilst working a less-than-stellar job as a used car salesman at a local auto dealership. His parents, on the other hand (played by Kate Burton and Happy Gilmore’s Christopher McDonald), are ready to start living their own lives together — and want the proverbial “third wheel” of a son to get his own apartment and starting living his own life for a change.
Although he would never admit to it, Herman (or, “Spooner,” as he prefers to be called) is in a panic over the whole changeover. No longer will he be able to hang out in his backyard fort from grade school. Never again will he have the opportunity to come home and play chess with his dear ol’ dad in the basement all night after work. He even cuts out a picture of a swingin’ stereo system from an advert and claims that it’s a snap of his new apartment (who’s that lady in the picture? Well, that’s just the realtor who set him up with the pad, according to him!) just to “prove” to his folks that he found a place and that he’s really not slacking off. But, he is slacking: Spooner is just a grown-up boy that is terrified of experiencing the life of a single adult.