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Nostalgic longing. Young love. Noble sports heroes. Confrontations with bullies. A mysterious mentor. A boy finding himself. A vague sense of Cold War menace. The music of Chuck Berry, Fats Domino, and the Platters. Hearts in Atlantis has all the things you’d expect from a circa-1960 coming-of-age fable, but they just cancel each other out, leaving a bland, lukewarm lump of nicely photographed sentimentality. After a childhood friend’s funeral, middle-aged Bobby (David Morse) surveys the shabby Connecticut neighborhood where he once lived. “The past can come kicking the door down,” he muses in voice-over, a banality that could have kicked its way in from the movie’s source—a book of “interconnected stories” by Stephen King—or from scripter William Goldman, who wrote All the President’s Men but also adapted King’s Misery. In flashback, 11-year-old Bobby (Anton Yelchin) lives with his widowed, self-absorbed mother (Hope Davis), who spends so much money on dresses that she can’t afford the bike her son desperately wants. Then the enigmatic Ted (Anthony Hopkins) moves in upstairs, providing handfuls of pocket money and barrelfuls of inspiration. Ted has some strange power, but—despite Mom’s suspicions—he’s a regular guy. Bobby is awed by this new surrogate father and relies on Ted’s aid in dealing with the local schoolyard thugs, learning more about his real dad, and preparing for his first kiss with pre-pubescent true love Carol (Mika Boorem). Director Scott (Shine) Hicks gives the proceedings an upscale sheen, but even his flashiest move—intercutting simultaneous assaults on two of the characters—is utterly predictable. The title, by the way, comes from Ted, who sententiously remembers childhood as “someplace magical, like Atlantis must have been.” Magical acts should seem effortless, though, and Hearts in Atlantis is a chore. —Mark Jenkins