Review Date: July 02, 2000
Director: Jon Turteltaub
Writer: Audrey Wells
Producers: J.Turteltaub and C. Steinberg
Bruce Willis as Russell Morley
Spencer Breslin as Rusty
An aging image consultant with a huge chip on his shoulder, a frigid attitude, and little love in his life suddenly finds himself confronted with his 8-year old self. Why his younger counterpart has all of a sudden become a part of his present reality is unknown to the man, but he is certainly going to do his best to find out.
A kid's movie presented by Disney, this film makes no bones about itself. It's a simple tale offering a predictable but important life lesson, a handful of laughs via the latest cute kid in town Spencer Breslin, a happy-go-lucky booming score, but certainly nothing more than an above average Disney Sunday Night Movie of the Week starring Bruce Willis in a bad hairpiece. In fact, if it wasn't for the adorable performance put forth by the kid in this film, or the final act's resolution of said fantastical situation, I wouldn't have recommended this film at all. But something about the film's conclusion "got me" (read: I wept openly within myself... :), and despite it being an obvious pull at the ol' heart strings via the most powerful corporate company in the world of entertainment (M-I-C-K-E-Y etc...), I still appreciated the sentiment and credited the film for that much. I also happened to see this film with a few kids in tow (not my own), and they all seemed to truly enjoy it. They cracked up at the kid on the screen, made fun of Bruce and hopefully picked up a bit of the message contained within (and a free toy plane given away to all kid attendees), so target audience-wise, the course is certainly set to be flown.
Bruce was okay in the film, but he honestly didn't have much to do. He just stood around as the straight man and acted nasty to just about everyone. The romance angle of the film also didn't work for me, with a lot of it feeling manufactured, a convenient device for the entire setup. In the end, this film certainly isn't going to break any new ground (see BIG to know what I'm talking about) or knock anybody over their ass in appreciation of its entertainment value, but as a parent, you certainly can't go too wrong with this film. In fact, it is more than likely that many adults will also see a bit of themselves in the Willis character and hopefully take a little something away from the film themselves. So if you've already seen CHICKEN RUN (8/10), and need a safe, cute, sentimental fluff piece to present to the kids, this film might just be the one for you.
(c) 2017 Berge Garabedian