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Film / White Frog

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White Frog is a 2012 American drama film written by mother-and-daughter team Fabienne and Elle Wen and directed by Quentin Lee.

Nick Young (Booboo Stewart) is a high school freshman with Asperger's syndrome who idolizes his older brother Chaz (Harry Shum Jr.). One day, Chaz is hit by a car while riding his bike and killed. The whole family is left reeling, with Nick unable to connect with his parents, Oliver (B.D. Wong) and Irene (Joan Chen). Nick falls in with Chaz's group of friends, including his best friend Randy (Gregg Sulkin). As Nick bonds with Randy, he learns more details about what his brother was really like, including some facts that contradict his parents' idea of Chaz as the "perfect son."

White Frog contains examples of:

  • Affectionate Gesture to the Head: Chaz used to ruffle Nick's hair.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Chaz once beat up a kid who peed on Nick's shoes in third grade.
  • Big Brother Worship: Nick loved Chaz and wanted to spend as much time with him as possible.
  • Commonality Connection: Part of the reason why Chaz was so protective of Nick is that they're both different from the others: Nick because of his Asperger's syndrome, and Chaz because of his homosexuality.
  • Cradle of Loneliness: Nick lies in bed clutching a photo of himself and Chaz.
  • Daddy DNA Test: Oliver had Nick undergo one a long time ago to see if he inherited his autism from another man. Irene found out about the test, which hurt her and Oliver's relationship.
  • Hates Being Nicknamed: Nick dislikes his parents' nickname for him, B. B.
    Nick: I am not your B. B., and I am not your baby!
  • Have You Tried Not Being a Monster?: During an argument with Nick, Oliver shouts "Why can't you just try to act normal? I am tired of you making me feel like you're a ticking time bomb! Try to act normal or else!"
  • Highly Visible Password: Played straight when Nick is trying to hack into Chaz's email in his room, but later averted when Nick is trying different passwords on a public bench and all the letters are asterisked out.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Nick dresses entirely in blue. He owns at least 16 identical blue T-shirts.
  • Milholland Relationship Moment: Randy is afraid to tell his dad that he's gay and used to be in a relationship with Chaz. When he finally works up the nerve, his dad tells him that he already knows and doesn't care.
  • Nepotism: Ajit (Manish Dayal), one of the boys from Chaz's gambling group, tried to get into Yale but was waitlisted. Cameron (Justin Martin) offers to talk to his dad, who's one of Yale's key fundraisers.
  • Parental Favoritism: Everyone in the family saw Nick as Chaz's sidekick, including Nick himself. With Chaz gone, his parents have no idea how to interact with him, and Oliver even wonders if Chaz's death was punishment for Oliver's distant treatment of Nick.
  • The Password Is Always "Swordfish": Chaz's password is "Randy."
  • Picky Eater: Nick usually eats nothing but bread when the family eats out.
  • Rebuilt Pedestal: Nick is originally horrified to learn that Chaz was gay, but by the end of the movie he's accepted it.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Late in the movie, Nick meets a mentally ill homeless man who mentioned that he used to be in Vietnam.
  • Straight Gay: Chaz and Randy.
  • Switched at Birth: Oliver used to wonder if this happened with Nick, since he doesn't look much like either of his parents and nobody else in the family has his "problem."
  • Tantrum Throwing: When Nick sees that his parents have emptied Chaz's room and gotten rid of all his belongings, he angrily knocks over the trash cans outside and throws clothing over the banister.
  • Toxic Friend Influence: Oliver and Irene don't approve of Chaz and Nick's friendship with Randy, who they see as a bad influence even before they learn that he and Chaz were lovers.
  • Unintentional Final Message: Chaz Young records a video for his younger brother Nick in which he comes out as gay. He gets hit by a car before he can send it, so Nick only sees it when he figures out Chaz's email password.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: Nick's therapist remembers that her mother wanted her to become a doctor, didn't think therapists were "real" doctors, and spent so much time hounding her about it that she still hears her mother's voice criticizing her.
    Dr. King: Dead people, they come and go like they own you.
  • You Are Grounded!: Oliver tries to ground Nick during an argument in which Nick tells his parents that Chaz was a gay gambler who volunteered at a community center full of illegal immigrants.