Problem Child

  • Film
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For this story to work (wealthy, shallow but well-meaning parents adopt nightmare child), the audience should identify with the boy, or at least feel a sneaking admiration for his antics. But Michael Oliver's snotty, fakesy-cutesy, grating, whining brat is a fatal turn-off. A film this bad just has to have a mushy message, and it's this: unloved and unwanted, it isn't until he meets Ben Healy (Ritter) and experiences unconditional love, that the unspeakable Junior attains a sense of self-worth. This isn't so much a film about parenting as fathering; the bitch-wife who wants a child purely as a lifestyle accessory is finally and humiliatingly removed from the scene so that Dad and his lad can march off into the happy sunset of mutual regard. Enough to make you gag.

Release details

Duration: 81 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Dennis Dugan
Screenwriter: Scott Alexander, Larry Karaszewski
Cast: John Ritter
Jack Warden
Michael Oliver
Gilbert Gottfried
Amy Yasbeck
Michael Richards

Average User Rating

2.5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:0
  • 4 star:0
  • 3 star:2
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|4
1 person listening
James C

John Ritter, Michael Richards and the actor who plays Ritter's father are great. This film is an underrated comic gem. It takes that generic premise of the well meaning, shallow parents and does something deranged and truly funny with it. Not a perfect film by any means, but if you have a sense of humor, you'll have a good time.

James C

John Ritter, Michael Richards and the actor who plays Ritter's father are great. This film is an underrated comic gem. It takes that generic premise of the well meaning, shallow parents and does something deranged and truly funny with it. Not a perfect film by any means, but if you have a sense of humor, you'll have a good time.