Making the Grades
Science fiction and romance make great partners in this film about a test pilot that becomes part of a cryogenic experiment in the thirties. After his girlfriend, whom he never did get the courage to propose to, is hit by a truck and put into a coma, Daniel McCormick (Mel Gibson) decides he has nothing to lose and volunteers to be "frozen" and brought back to life after his girlfriend finally dies. Things never work as planned, and through a series of mishaps, McCormick finds himself in 1992.
The nice thing about this film is that the script doesn't dwell too much on how nifty everything is in the nineties compared to the thirties, but instead focuses on human relationships and the need to have stability through friends and acquaintances. McCormick describes himself as lost, because he doesn't know anyone, and spends the rest of his life on a quest to find the scientist he was working with fifty years ago.
Elijah Wood plays a fatherless boy that finds McCormick, and eventually brings him home to his treehouse. Unfortunately, the screen writer had a need to show how far kids have progressed in fifty years through the use of an extended vocabulary. The language is not horrible, but why do all movie kids talk like this?
There is one violent scene where McCormick finds the boy's mother (Jamie Lee Curtis) being abused by a drunk boyfriend. Punches are thrown across the kitchen, but the violence is mainly motivated through the defence of the mother. The character of McCormick is a strong man, but does not have the desire to hurt people, only to defend.
Overall, this movie shows good family values, and McCormick remembers to pack his morals from the thirties before he leaves. The boy's mother is desperate for companionship, but the romance is tempered to be appropriate for most family members.