Problem Child (1990)
Pssst, want to check out Problem Child in our new look?
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Of all the movies I have checked on this site, I have trouble deciding which one I love the most, but without hesitation I can say that this is the one I hate the most. A comedy without a single laugh. A children's movie that I hated when I watched it at eight years old. A feelgood film that filled me with disgust and anger.
The movie revolves around the adoption of the eponymous problem child - a vile piece of work who devotes his time to inflicting violence and humiliation on people who cross him, people who are kind to him, bystanders and animals. Yet the audience is expected to sympathise and feel sorry him, even despite the fact that he idolises a serial killer. Michael Oliver is completely wooden and unrealistic as the main character, but somehow this just makes him even more hateful. Everybody else apart from John Ritter play their poorly scripted parts as lazy caricatures, but this is actually worse for Ritter's character: when he displays understanding and love towards the problem child he looks foolish and naive at best, and an enabler of violence and antisocial behaviour at worst.
The problem child is never punished, and people never make much of an attempt to prevent him carrying out his misdeeds, even when he's hitting people with cars, getting them attacked by bears, or beating other children with a baseball bat while the adults stand around making faces. Just take the bat away from him! He's only about three feet tall!
Twenty years later I still remember most of this film quite clearly, and whenever I see another film end with a repulsive villain getting away with appalling crimes, or a tyrant crushing the will of the only person willing to stand up to them, or whenever a complete monster walks to triumph over the bodies of innocents, the intended feelings of despair and loss are always mitigated when I think to myself "Oh well, at least they were more sympathetic and likeable than the problem child."
Red-headed devil children are SUCH lovable rascals, and this piece of cinematic purity from 1990 proves it!
to see which of your friends have seen this movie!