'The Story of Luke', a simple yet likable movie starring Lou Taylor Pucci, chronicles a brief period in the life of Luke, a young man with high-functioning autism.
Luke was raised by his grandparents; but after his grandmother dies and his grandfather moves to a nursing home, Luke's sent to live with his Uncle Paul (Cary Elwes) as well as Paul's wife and two children. Luke's new family doesn't necessarily adjust to his presence right away (particularly not his aunt, who's downright mean to Luke at first; she redeems herself pretty quickly, though). Meanwhile, Luke seems determined to find two things to help him fit into his new environment: a girlfriend, and a job.
He lands the job before too long; there, Luke encounters his first-ever boss, the surly Zack (Seth Green) -- who turns out to have more in common with Luke than he initially lets on.
As far as the girlfriend -- well, I won't give that one away.
'The Story of Luke' was said to be well-received by the autism community. The movie has something of a sitcom-y feel (not meant as a criticism); there are several funny moments, and a generally uplifting (and refreshingly unsappy) tone present throughout the film.
Performances are good all around -- especially by Elwes (as the dorky-yet-well-meaning uncle who takes Luke in) and Green (as Luke's "mean" boss -- this was quite a different role for Green than any of the ones I've seen him in before, and he's pretty funny in it). I'll admit that Pucci's unusual voice took some getting used to at first; though once I managed that, I thought that he, too, did a nice job.
Before I watched 'The Story of Luke' on Netflix, I read a complaint from some user there that they couldn't finish the movie because it was "too raunchy". While this turned out to be quite an exaggeration, I could *sort of* understand where the reviewer was coming from, especially toward the beginning of the film (most of the "raunchy" dialogue occurrs between Luke and his grandfather in the first 15 minutes or so; on that note, I didn't much care for the grandfather character, but he's only really in the movie for those first 15 minutes).
Because of the so-called raunchiness, 'The Story of Luke' might not be appropriate for younger kids -- although it should be fine for older ones (I'm not sure if it was ever actually rated by the MPAA, but a "PG-13" seems fitting). The main reason I mention all of this is that 'The Story of Luke' also reminded me quite a bit of a (good) Hallmark Hall of Fame movie; and those films are often, if not always, "family friendly".
While 'The Story of Luke' might not be AS "family friendly" as a Hallmark Hall of Fame picture, it should appeal to anybody who likes to watch movies *about* families (or to anybody who enjoys movies that are funny and sweet-but-not-too-saccharine, regardless of whether family has anything to do with the plot).
As the aunt of a wonderful boy with autism, I both appreciated 'The Story of Luke', and found it thoroughly enjoyable. (7/10)