A better version of Curly Sue, this Michael J. Fox vehicle screams ‘cute’ from every pore but should play well with kids and won’t insult the intelligence of adults.
Michael Chapman (Fox) was once the star of his own sitcom, Life with Mikey, making him one of the best-known tykes in America. Unfortunately, he topped out at age 15, and now suffers from a serious case of Peter Pan-itis, while his patient brother (Nathan Lane) runs their business.
Then a streetwise 10-year-old (newcomer Christina Vidal) steals Michael’s wallet and puts on a Meryl Streep-quality performance when caught. She quickly lands a major commercial gig and moves in with Michael, compelling him to confront some of his own inadequacies.
This is all very stock, predictable stuff, but director James Lapine and writer/co-producer Marc Lawrence bring an easy charm to most of the proceedings. Fox turns in an extremely likable, believable performance sans camp or melodramatics.