North

(1994)
North

Starring Elijah Wood, Bruce Willis, Jason Alexander. (PG)

 

Almost universally slated by critics when it was released, this adaptation of Alan Zweibel’s novel isn’t good by any means, but it isn’t as awful as everyone made it sound either (renowned critic Roger Ebert described it as ‘one of the worst movies ever made’). It’s the story of young North (Wood), who has had enough of his parents ignoring him. So he takes them to court and the judge rules that North can find new parents, but if he doesn’t succeed, he has to return to his real ones within two months. So begins a journey around the world as North ‘auditions’ prospective parents, including couples from Alaska (Kathy Bates and Graham Greene) and Texas (Dan Aykroyd and Reba McEntire) – while in each place he visits North comes across a mysterious man (played in each incarnation by Bruce Willis) who could possibly be his guardian angel.

The main flaw with the plot is that North’s parents haven’t done anything that bad to make him want to divorce them, while the main flaw with the film is that it just isn’t that funny, for kids or adults. All the comic actors are forced to play caricatures rather than real people, and what should have been a whimsical movie ends up being just a curious one. 

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