Review: ‘Fox Night at the Movies the Night My Parents Ran Away’

Distraught parents jump ship, leaving teenage son home alone; before long, house had turned into a party straight out of "Risky Business"-- who says there are no new ideas in television? Several "Fox Night at the Movies" this year have attractively presented some interesting ideas; "The Day My Parents Ran Away" isn't one of them.

Distraught parents jump ship, leaving teenage son home alone; before long, house had turned into a party straight out of “Risky Business”– who says there are no new ideas in television? Several “Fox Night at the Movies” this year have attractively presented some interesting ideas; “The Day My Parents Ran Away” isn’t one of them.

Film is elongated remake of 1987 short “Missing Parents,” made by director Martin Nicholson and developed under Chanticleer’s Discovery Program.

Though basically intelligent, 16-year-old Matt (Bobby Jacoby) doesn’t apply himself to his studies, talks back to his parents (Matt Frewer, Blair Brown), and speaks in a mock-teen argot straight out of Sitcom Land. To say he’s unappealing would be to understate, but he’s somehow attracted the attention of the class fox, studious Melanie Hope (Brigid Conley Walsh).

One day, his folks leave Matt at home, running off to some sort of resort; Matt learns that “11,000 parents leave home each year and never return.” By the time all parties are heartwarmingly reunited, young Matt has learned a thing or two about responsibility.

Best segment, though it rings thoroughly false, finds Matt vamped by producer Elena Wohl onto TV show run by smarmy Kevin Meaney, playing a cross between Jerry Springer and Morton Downey Jr.

Adult principals, except Meaney, are thoroughly wasted, though nice cameos include Dana Kaminski as the insurance client, Nick Toth and Charlotte booker as Melanie’s parents and Ben Stein as a whining academic.

Storytelling is extremely sloppy, while tech credits are adequate.

Fox Night at the Movies the Night My Parents Ran Away

(Mon. (13), 8-10 p.m., Fox)

Production

Filmed in L.A. by Fox West Pictures and New Line Television in association with Chanticleer Films. Exec producers, Jana Sue Memel, Sasha Emerson. Producer, Thom Colwell. Director, Martin Nicholson. Script, Handel Glassberg.

Crew

Camera, Bernard Salzmann; editor, John Currin; art director, James R. Barrows; sound, Ken Segal; music, Peter J. Robinson; production designer, C.J. Strawn

With

Cast: Matt Frewer, Blair Brown, Martin Mull, Bobby Jacoby, Brigid Conley Smith, Seth Green, Chance Quinn, Kevin Meaney, Benjamin T. Stein, Peter Michael Goats, Elena Wohl, Nick Toth, Charlotte Booker, Jane Alden, Eric Poppick, Dana Kaminski, Aaron Lustig, Jack Shearer, Ryan Alosio, Curnal Auliso, Keith Bogart, Michael Bower, Dr. Joyce Brothers, Michael Dempsey, John Christian Graas, Tad Horino, Gili Lang, Amy Lelend, Will Leskin, Susan Krebs, Tisha Putnam, Roger Dela Rosa, Daniel Ori, Richard Ori, Terry Norton Orr, Sheila Shaw, Constance Zimmer
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