Spencer and his little sister, Katherine, are flying to Pennsylvania for Christmas with their dad. While changing planes, a blizzard moves in and cancels all flights out of Hoover Airport: they must stay in a basement room with the other unaccompanied minors. Spencer and four others - a chubby boy, a non-stop-talker, a surly girl, and a rich kid - go AWOL and get in trouble with Mr. Porter, the Christmas-hating airport supervisor. The five misfits spend the night evading and enduring Porter's punishments, discovering all sorts of things in back rooms, making sure Katherine gets her visit from Santa, and finding among themselves a new kind of family. Written by
I had the misfortune of catching 'Grounded' the other day and found it to be a rather pointless little film not worth the ninety minutes or so it takes to view it, and I'm usually lenient on Christmas films. The film revolves around five kids of divorced parents, aged between twelve and fifteen, who are travelling alone before Christmas to visit their other parent. When the airport in snowed in, they go on a rampage with predictable 'Home Alone'-style tricks and out-smarting of airport staff.
I can't complain too much about the acting of the kids. It's nothing special but neither are they terrible, although it is only Tyler James Williams (better known as Chris, from the TV show 'Everybody Hates Chris') who stands out for his expressive ways and wide-eyed sweetness. The adult cast are forgettable since they barely make much of an appearance other than the brief scenes where they come across as inept losers in face of the kids' antics.
'Grounded' fails, largely, because the five kids are far too old to be carrying on like the eight-year-olds they are depicted as nor is there much of a point to their unruly behaviour. They were locked up because they acted like brats and don't deserve to be portrayed as heroes we should all hail. At least, in 'Home Alone', Kevin was not only just eight but he was justified in his tricks because he was defending his home. The toilet humour and the dumbed down show of kids outsmarting big, stupid adults only added to why this film is aimed at undiscerning youngsters under the age of ten. What didn't help elevate the film was the way it portrayed divorced kids as being 'special' and somehow less well-off than children of married parents when there are many well-adjusted kids of divorced parents out there who would be offended by this idea.
This film is pointless for anyone who's seen 'Home Alone', a superior Christmassy film about a kid trumping the adults. I can't see many folk past primary school-age who will find much interest in it.
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