Making the Grades
This is a movie that combines more politically correct topics than is possible in the time available. The two main characters, Ashley (Sarah Wayne) and Josh (Joshua Jackson), about 10 and 13 years old respectively, are dying to take a vacation with their father. Of course, as is more common than not in movies today, their parents are divorced and their dad, Jack Black (Mark Harmon), is a workaholic to the max.
Driving with a cellular phone pressed to his ear while another rings from the luggage in the back seat, Jack does his best to ignore the endless questions his anxious children are throwing at him. They soon reach the fictitious community of Glenorky, British Columbia, famous for its lake monster Orky, which no sane person has seen. That's because anyone who has had a visit with Orky is returned to their childhood. Of course, Orky soon finds Jack and suddenly building sand castles and digging a hole to China have reached the top of Jack's priority list.
With a couple of bad guys throwing toxic waste into the lake, and an Indian legend mingled in with the overloaded plot, this movie may be difficult for some children to keep up with. Jack's change in persona seems so unreasonable, that you wonder if he is serving his children as a father any better than he was before. Eventually the local doctor (and love interest for Jack) commits him to the hospital due to mental illness, leaving the kids playing in what seems the back yard of the hospital. Now they have to get their father out and then go save Orky from toxic terminal illness.
This movie has many good intentions, it just needs to pick one and run with it. For children with uninterested fathers, it will be difficult to come up with the solution found by the children in this movie. However, with some help from a parent who watches the movie with them, they can hopefully learn something about families, environment or native culture.