A cutesy, saccharine drama with lots of insulting business about fate thrown about, and Robin Williams as Fagin with a soul-patch.
Freddie Highmore (Charlie of the Chocolate Factory) wants to find his real parents, runs off to the big city chased by a well-meaning but barely-in-the-movie Terrence Howard (Glitter, Big Momma’s House) in search of his parents (Keri Russell of Waitress and Jonathan Rhys Meyers, who hadn’t been in any bad movies until this one), who only met once and don’t even know that they are parents. Along the way, Freddie is helped/hindered by Williams (of too many bad movies to list).
Hardly any romance in the movie, so not even Katy was happy… just a rooftop hookup then some happy glances at end of film (complete with a shout-out-to-god skyward glance by Freddie). Robin has violent mood changes, Keri smiles too much, Rhys Meyers has a rock music career (in a plot thread as underdeveloped as Terrence Howard’s character)… wait, in fact the whole movie was underdeveloped. How did it spend two hours telling this story without even telling any part of it properly? Even August’s relationship with black 13-yr-old talented guitarist friend Leon is underdeveloped, as is Keri Russell’s whole star-cellist thing.
Director Kirsten Sheridan is Jim’s daughter and is my age. Writer Nick Castle directed “Major Payne” and “The Last Starfighter”. Composer Mark Mancina usually does Disney cartoons and action flicks. The kids come out of this one pretty okay, and if anything, this is a step up for Robin Williams.