The Late Bloomer

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The Late Bloomer
The Late Bloomer poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byKevin Pollak
Produced by
  • Heidi Jo Markel
  • Raphael Kryszek
  • Jesse Israel
Written by
  • Gary Rosen
  • Joe Nussbaum
  • Paul A. Kaplan
  • Mark Torgove
  • Kyle Cooper
  • Austyn Jeffs
Based onMan Made: A Memoir of My Body
by Ken Baker
Music byWalter Murphy
CinematographyAkis Konstantakopoulos
Edited byAdam Beamer
Distributed byMomentum Pictures
Release date
  • September 30, 2016 (2016-09-30) (SDFF)
  • October 7, 2016 (2016-10-07) (United States)
Running time
90 minutes
CountryUnited States

The Late Bloomer is a 2016 American comedy-drama film directed by Kevin Pollak and written by Gary Rosen, Joe Nussbaum, Paul A. Kaplan & Mark Torgove, and Kyle Cooper & Austyn Jeffs. It is based on journalist Ken Baker's autobiographical Man Made: A Memoir of My Body.[1] It stars Johnny Simmons, Maria Bello, Brittany Snow, Jane Lynch, J. K. Simmons, Kumail Nanjiani, Beck Bennett and Paul Wesley.

The film had its world premiere at the San Diego Film Festival on September 30, 2016.[2] The film was scheduled to be released in a limited release and through video on demand on October 7, 2016, by Momentum Pictures.[3]

The film was met with general dislike, The Hollywood Reporter saying that while Johnny Simmons fits his role perfectly, many secondary actors such as J.K. Simmons, Jane Lynch, Laraine Newman, Illeana Douglas, Maria Bello and Brian Doyle-Murray have fun in their stereotypical roles, but J.K. Simmons and Maria Bello, in particular, seem severely overqualified for their roles.[4]


Dr. Peter Newmans (Johnny Simmons) is a 27-year-old sex therapist who lives a quiet life alone, silently crushing on his pretty neighbour, Michelle (Brittany Snow). He is known for being a very non-sexual person, and has written a book about how sex is not a necessity. Michelle breaks up with her workaholic boyfriend, and Peter takes the opportunity to comfort her. In her vulnerability, Michelle kisses Peter. He lies and says he has a headache in order to get out of the situation. Feeling like a freak because he doesn't feel attracted to women the way other men do, he returns to his apartment.

The next morning, he is persuaded by his friends (Kumail Nanjiani and Beck Bennett) to join them at their weekend basketball game, where he is hit in the groin and falls to the ground. He attends an emergency room, where his friends say he may have hit his head, so the doctor orders a head CT scan, followed by an MRI. During his initial physical examination, the doctor has noticed Peter's under-developed testicles, and becomes increasingly concerned. It is discovered that Peter has a long-term benign brain tumor pressed against his pituitary gland, which has caused prolactin to be released into his system while suppressing his testosterone production. This means that he has never transitioned to puberty. Elated to learn that he is not a "freak", Peter insists that a procedure be undertaken immediately to remove the tumor. After a successful excision, he stays with his parents (J. K. Simmons and Maria Bello) to recover. A little later, he wakes with his first erection, signalling his transition into puberty.

With the onset of puberty, Peter experiences some of its less welcome side-effects, including mood swings, strong sexual desires, voice changes, and severe acne. After Michelle leaves for a cooking retreat with Bobby Flay, his symptoms become progressively more severe. During a FaceTime call with her, he lashes out because of his unfamiliar feelings of jealousy.

After Michelle returns, she agrees to a date with Peter, but he blows it by behaving like jerk. He becomes depressed and tries to receive oral sex from one of his patients, but is caught and subsequently fired by his boss (Jane Lynch). He is forced to come to terms with his situation, and has a heart-to-heart with his father over what it means to "be a man". Reflecting on his anti-sex book, Peter concludes that a person should have all the (consensual) sex possible, and society should cease to sex-shame individuals because "it's awesome". Peter eventually manages to apologize to Michelle, and they live happily ever after.



Alcon Entertainment acquired the film rights to the journalist Ken Baker's autobiographical book Man Made: A Memoir of My Body in 2008 and a script by Gary Rosen.[5] The Late Bloomer project was first announced in January 2010, when Alcon was developing the film based on the true story of Baker, who went through his puberty in three weeks at the age of 27. The delaying of his puberty and normal development was caused by a benign tumor in his brain.[5] At that time Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson were attached as producers, and studio was re-imagining the film into the comedy by hiring Joe Nussbaum to write a new draft of the script.[5]

In October 2012, it was announced that the film was to be directed by Randall Einhorn and would star Elijah Wood.[6] The script had been written by Joe Nussbaum, and rewritten by Paul A. Kaplan & Mark Torgove. The film would be produced by Jesse Israel of Ineffable Pictures, and Brent Emery of Coup d'Etat Films, with financing by Dignity Film Finance.[6]

In May 2015, it was announced that the film was now to be directed by Kevin Pollak, who would make his narrative debut.[7] Raphael Kryszek and Israel would produce the film for Ineffable, along with Heidi Jo Markel for Eclectic.[7] In August 2015, a new cast was announced, including Johnny Simmons in the lead role of sex therapist Dr. Peter Newmans, whose experiences would mirror those of Baker in real life.[8] Jane Lynch would play Caroline, head of the office where he works, Maria Bello and J. K. Simmons his parents, Brittany Snow the girl he pursues, and Beck Bennett, Kumail Nanjiani, and Blake Cooper his friends.[8] Other cast members would include Paul Wesley, Ken Marino, Illeana Douglas, Charlotte McKinney, Vanessa Ragland, and Lenora Crichlow.[9] The latest draft of the film was revealed to have been written by Kyle Cooper and Austyn Jeffs, and Conor Charles was announced as co-producer.[9]


Principal photography on the film began in late August 2015 in Los Angeles, and wrapped up in Bulgaria on September 5, 2015.[8][9]


In April 2016, Momentum Pictures acquired U.S distribution rights to the film.[10] It had its world premiere at the San Diego Film Festival on September 30, 2016, where it won Best Comedy.[11][12] It was scheduled to be released in a limited release and through video on demand on October 7, 2016.[13]


  1. ^ "MAN ALIVE / A life-threatening illness forced Mill Valley writer Ken Baker to come to grips with issues of his own masculinity". SFGate. Retrieved 2016-11-17.
  2. ^ "Festival Schedule". San Diego Film Festival. Retrieved August 31, 2016.
  3. ^ Malkin, Marc (August 9, 2016). "Watch The Late Bloomer Trailer With Brittany Snow and Johnny Simmons". E! News. Retrieved August 31, 2016.
  4. ^ Scheck, Frank (2016-10-12). "'The Late Bloomer': Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2016-11-17.
  5. ^ a b c McNary, Dave (January 21, 2010). "Alcon develops 'Late Bloomer'". Variety. Retrieved August 27, 2015.
  6. ^ a b Sneider, Jeff (October 1, 2012). "Elijah Wood is a 'Late Bloomer'". Variety. Retrieved August 27, 2015.
  7. ^ a b McNary, Dave (May 5, 2015). "Kevin Pollak to Direct Comedy 'The Late Bloomer' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved August 27, 2015.
  8. ^ a b c Sneider, Jeff (August 25, 2015). "Paul Wesley, Brittany Snow, Blake Cooper Join Comedy 'The Late Bloomer'". TheWrap. Retrieved August 27, 2015.
  9. ^ a b c Kilday, Gregg (August 25, 2015). "Johnny Simmons Starring in Kevin Pollak's 'The Late Bloomer'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 27, 2015.
  10. ^ McNary, Dave (April 13, 2016). "Kevin Pollak's 'Late Bloomer' Bought by Momentum Pictures (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved August 31, 2016.
  11. ^ Cavassuto, Maria (August 29, 2016). "San Diego Film Festival Announces Full 2016 Lineup". Variety. Retrieved August 31, 2016.
  12. ^ admin (2016-09-22). "The party's on: San Diego International Film Festival set Sept. 28 to Oct. 2". The Star News. Retrieved 2018-01-16.
  13. ^ "The Late Bloomer — Trailer". The Movie Box. August 11, 2016. Retrieved August 31, 2016.

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