Making the Grades
In this completely John Hughes film, James Belushi stars as Bill Dancer, a lost and lonely street person along with Curly Sue (played by Alison Porter), who is his pint-sized con artist companion. After staging a car accident where Belushi is allegedly hit by a tough Manhattan lawyer (Kelly Lynch), they get themselves a free meal. Afterwards, Lynch can't get this desperate pair off of her mind, or her bumper, as she hits Belushi again the next day -- this time for real. She winds up taking the pair into her penthouse suite, and after going through a change of heart, falls in love with Belushi, and changes her life.
I should love this movie, but it has one problem -- a big one! It wants to be a cute film, relying on Porter to play the part of the cutest girl in the world. Maybe I spend too much time with my own kids, but this little girl isn't that cute, and as the entire film rests on that premise, it weakens the whole premise.
Another element that I disagreed with is the need for Bill Dancer to get revenge. In the early part of the film, he is bounced (albeit harshly) out of a restaurant for being improperly dressed. In another scene, they spend a night in a shelter, where another occupant steals Sue's ring.
Later, after being taken in and fixed up by his lawyer friend, Dancer has the opportunity to meet with both these people again. Now, dressed to kill, he goes into the restaurant and gives the maitre d' a few good knocks to the jaw before finding his table. The guy that stole the ring is practically strangled over a $15 item. Why? I felt the character of Dancer and the movie would have been much more moving with just a touch of forgiveness in these scenes.