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"BOGUS"
(1996) (Whoopi Goldberg, Gerard Depardieu) (PG)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
None None Mild Mild Minor
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild None Minor Minor Mild
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
None None Moderate Moderate Mild


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: A small boy with a lifelike imaginary friend goes to live with a stranger after his mother dies in a car wreck.
PLOT:
Seven year old Albert Franklin (HALEY JOEL DESMONT) lives with his mother Lorraine (NANCY TRAVIS) in Las Vegas where she works as a magician's assistant. Their life is happy until Lorraine dies in a car wreck, and Albert must then go to live with Harriet Franklin (WHOOPI GOLDBERG), Lorraine's foster sister and manager of a restaurant supply store. Albert doesn't want to go and Harriet doesn't want to take responsibility of him and does so only because he'll become a ward of the state if she doesn't. Along the way to his new home in Newark, Albert creates an imaginary French friend, Bogus (GERARD DEPARDIEU), a large, but sweet man who only wants to make Albert happy. No one but Albert can see Bogus and his interaction with this imaginary friend strains his relationship with Harriet. Soon though, with the aid of Bogus, both Albert and Harriet grow to like one another.
WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Younger kids might be drawn to the fantasy type elements seen in the ads, but teens will steer clear from this one.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG
For thematic elements and some mild language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • WHOOPI GOLDBERG plays a busy woman who doesn't have the time, nor the knowledge, to take care of a small child.
  • GERARD DEPARDIEU plays the imaginary friend with no bad traits.
  • HALEY JOEL OSMENT plays the small boy who loses his mother and is understandably not happy to have to move or to have a new "mother."
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    OUR TAKE: 3 out of 10
    This is a somewhat strange movie in that it can't decide if it wants to cater to kids or adults. At the beginning it seems like it might be a cute little film with the fun coming from the interaction between Albert and Bogus. Depardeau is good in the role of the friend, but soon the story veers away from the imaginary and moves into the realm of reality. While Goldberg's frustrated attempts at being a parent are funny at first, they wear thin after a while and the film turns into a rather boring drama. While enjoyable at the beginning, one soon grows tired of this film that we rate as just a 3 out of 10.
    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    There's not much to object to in this one. There's little profanity or imitative behavior. The biggest serious topic is the loss of a parent and a child having to adjust to a new life in a new location with a new parent. One scene of concern involves Albert walking to the bus station by himself and getting a complete stranger to buy a ticket for him. Other than that, there's isn't much to object to, but you should still read through the listings before making your decision.

    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • None.
  • BLOOD/ GORE
  • None.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Harriet uses a fake fire hydrant to ensure that she always gets a parking spot in front of her home.
  • Harriet won't play along during a birthday party magic act when she's picked out by the magician to participate. She gets mad when several kids try to bring her over to the act and she accidentally knocks several of them over.
  • FRIGHTENING/TENSE SCENES
  • Albert imagines that a menacing looking Harriet stares down at him, growls, and says that she's an alien space monster who's going to eat him.
  • Albert wants to go to where Bogus is from (not knowing it's his own imagination) and does go there in a disorienting scene with weird psychedelic colors and sounds. The youngest of kids may find this scene to be a little scary.
  • Albert climbs up a fire escape ladder (as he's coming out of his own imagination) and realizing where he is, freezes up. Harriet then urges him on from the top of the ladder and "saves" him. The youngest of kids may find this scene to be a bit tense.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Fencing weapons: Albert and Bogus spar with them in one of Albert's imaginary interactions.
  • Albert acts like his fingers are a gun and shoots Bogus who falls to the ground.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Weirdo," and "Do you want to see something weird? Then go home and look at your mother."
  • Bogus sprays whipped cream directly into his mouth from the can.
  • Albert walks to the bus station by himself and has a complete stranger buy a ticket to Atlantic City for him (it's not clear whether they traveled there together).
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • Just a few scenes have very minor tense music.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • One rap song heard in the background has the word "hell" in it.
  • PROFANITY
  • 3 damns, 3 hells, 4 uses of "God damn," and 1 use of "God" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • None.
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Lorraine is killed in a car wreck and Albert must deal with this loss. There's a funeral and the discussion of what should happen with him, most of which he hears. He then must go and live with a stranger in a strange town and doesn't want to go.
  • We find out that Harriet is the way she is because she grew up in a foster home, always waiting for a letter from her mother that never arrived.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Losing a parent.
  • Imaginary friends.
  • VIOLENCE
  • A truck smashes into Lorraine's car (and later we find out she died from this).
  • Harriet punches Bogus in the stomach and he then grabs her by the ear.



  • Reviewed August 24, 1996

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