Making the Grades
This movie works the much used formula that assumes "kids know best." Macaulay Culkin plays opposite Ted Danson as Timmy, the son of a delinquent father, who will do anything to get his dad back. Danson, playing the character of Ray Gleason, wants to put his life in order again, but just can't resist one last robbery that he feels is the ticket to owning his own business and settling down.
The movie opens with Gleason and his two somewhat simple buddies planning a robbery of some old coins. Everything is working out smoothly until Gleason's son shows up the night before the heist. Timmy soon figures out the situation, and after the robbery, hides the coins on the crooks. The payment for returning the coins is the full attention of his father for a week.
Although this is not a John Hughes film, the creator of the infamous Home Alone series, there are some very similar parallels. We are treated to many scenes of the two other crooks clowning around on amusement park rides, garbage dumpsters, and the like. It seems that Culkin has a hard time breaking this pattern of starring with two dumb criminals. It's too bad, because the first My Girl movie showed me what a fine actor Culkin can be, but he never gets much opportunity to really show what he can do.
The good news is that this film does have some values. Timmy gives his dad the ultimatum of having to choose between being a father or being a crook. At the very last minute, Dad makes the right choice. However, his father was involved in a serious crime, yet the charges are conveniently dropped at the end due to a lack of evidence. Fat chance. The police had more than enough on Gleason to convict him, but that would not make for a nice ending. At the end of this movie, it would be a great idea to ask your kids what they think should have happened to Gleason.