This predictable crowd-pleaser is at heart a two-hanky affair, a mix of childish gags and shameless melodrama.
Pic clearly aspires to Capraesque sentimentality: a drifting con man (James Belushi) and his adopted nine-year-old daughter (Alisan Porter) scam a corporate attorney (Kelly Lynch) and gradually win her heart, much to the chagrin of her snotty boyfriend (John Getz).
Writer-helmer-producer John Hughes strikes an uneasy balance between slapstick and sappiness, far too frequently relying on Porter’s mugging and Georges Delerue’s drippingly sentimental score.
Lynch gives an impressive performance that proves to be the film’s high point. Belushi is less convincing as the protective dad, while Porter is in the tear-evoking-tots tradition.