How is it that I can love Abigail Breslin, Stanley Tucci, Joan Cusack, Glenne Headley and even like a lot Julia Orman and HATE with hateful hatiness this movie? And it got an 81% Tomatometer reading? WTF? Did these people see the same suck ass movie as I did? (Pardon the expletives, I’ve been marinating in the “message” of this kids film for 24 hours and I’m feeling rotten, myself.)
Oy vey. The movie was a kill joy. Where to begin? It was nice to see Chris O’Donnell again. He’s aged well. There, I said something nice. That’s over.
The director needs a good whuppin’. Patricia Rozema seemed, uh, conflicted. Comedy? Mystery? Drama? The movie lurched from slapstick to weepy churlishness in the span of a minute. The pacing was weird. It seemed like they ran out of time at the end to do some decent editing.
Maybe the problem is the screenplay. The script was ridiculous. Set in 1934, the “throws” of the Great Depression. Children should know how hard life can be. They just NEED to know at age 8 that fathers who feel they can’t feed their families will likely abandon them because of their pride–not that there’s anything wrong with that. Kids need to know the definition of “Hobo”. They need to know that Hobos are good people who get blamed for shit because their poor due to no fault of their own. Hobos were once like you and me and rich white people are lucky. And bankers are mean, evil people. Scratch that. Let’s keep this simple: writers, editors, men, garden party ladies, everyone but Hobos are evil. Americans, except for Americans without jobs, are evil. Have I said evil enough, because I don’t think I’ve driven the point home. So, I’ll just add this: Life is unfair and it’s whitey’s fault.
But you already knew that. Do you need to spend $12/person averaging ticket and food prices to hear that message beaten like a drum over the most miserable score you’ve ever heard? I’ll answer that for you: no you do not. Worse, do you need your children indoctrinated on your dime (you’re already stuck with public school) with this drivel? That would be called a leading question. I think you know the answer.
In short, I hate this movie ideologically, artistically, and every other way. Just proves that you can’t throw a bunch of great actors together and come out with a good movie. The story, editing, score, everything about the movie stunk.
Don’t waste your time or money.
1/2 star out of 4 stars