No one likes a smart arse. Even if they're seven-years-old. Actually, especially if they're seven-years-old. The only exception would be, perhaps, if you were said seven-year-old.
The prospect of watching a film then, that focuses on a very smart youngster, isn't necessarily one that would have you rushing to see it as if your life depended on it. And to that extent, this gift isn't one that keeps on giving.
Frank Adler (Chris Evans) knows that his seven-year-old niece Mary (McKenna Grace) is different. She's a bit of a genius when it comes to maths, which is no surprise as her mother was bona fide maths genius.
As she is no longer on the scene, it's now down to Frank to look after her and raise her to the best of his abilities. In an attempt to normalise her life, he enrols her in a regular school. Her teachers soon realise however, that Mary is way more advanced than the other children, and feel a private school for the gifted would be more beneficial for her.
Frank appreciates the advice - and the opportunity to have Mary attend on a full scholarship - but in his heart of hearts he feels she would miss out on growing up like any other kid.
This situation is made worse however with arrival of his mother Evelyn (Lindsay Duncan), who believes that a life of academia is the best route for Mary going forward, and is prepared to make her case in court. So sure that he's doing the right thing for his niece, Frank is willing to go to court, even if it might mean he loses her.
There's a marvel-lous connection between star and director here. Evans has played not only Johnny Storm (AKA the Human Torch) but more recently Captain America; and director Marc Webb spun out two Spiderman flicks. But that's where all the super ends.
This is a film that clearly has a mandate to pull on hear strings. The only thing that would make it a clear cut tear jerker is if the youngster had some kind of terminal disease.
Unfortunately, as many of the leads are either academics or stiff-lipped Brits, the story is left as dry as the Gobi desert. There are some nice performances, particularly from the bright Grace, but unfortunately has a sleeve that is completely bereft of any heart.
In fact the film itself could be described as 'nice' but nothing more. And so for a film that is about a gifted child, it tries too hard to be smart in the pants direction, and therefore misses its emotional mark by some margin.