[Screen It]


(1996) (Robin Williams, Fran Drescher) (PG-13)

Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Tense Scenes
Mild Minor Mild Minor None
Mild None None None Mild
Smoking Tense Family
Topics To
Talk About
Mild Minor Minor Minor Mild

Comedy: A ten-year-old boy, with a rare growth disorder that makes him appear to be forty, tries to fit in at school with the other kids.
Jack (ROBIN WILLIAMS) is a ten-year-old boy with a rare aging disorder where his cells are operating at four times their normal rate. Thus, at age 10 he appears to be forty. His parents, Brian (BRIAN KERWIN) and Karen Powell (DIANE LANE), have kept Jack sheltered from the outside world and have had a private tutor, Mr. Woodruff (BILL COSBY) educate him. It's Woodruff who believes it's time for Jack to attend regular school and with some reluctance, his parents agree. At first the kids don't like and are afraid of him, but eventually they accept Jack and he becomes best friends with Louie (ADAM ZOLOTIN). Soon he's doing all the normal things fifth graders are doing (hanging out in tree houses, playing ball, throwing water balloons on girls, etc...). He also gets asked for special favors such as buying "dirty magazines" for the other kids or acting like the school principal when Louie's mom, Dolores (FRAN DRESCHER) comes to check on his performance. Dolores, not knowing that Jack is really just ten years old, flirts with him and later they have a little romantic scene. From then on, Jack must contend with all of these new things in his life as well as his growing recognition that his time is somewhat limited.
Yes, with the star of "Mrs. Doubtfire," "Jumanji," and other popular "kids" films, they'll definitely want to see Robin Williams in this one.
For some sexual references.
  • There isn't a bad role model in the bunch (including ROBIN WILLIAMS) with the possible exception of FRAN DRESCHER who smokes and (it's somewhat implied) gets around a bit (with the men).


    OUR TAKE: 5 out of 10
    We wondered how this movie would compare to "Big," a similar movie from several years back starring Tom Hanks. Although somewhat different in tone (this one dealing with a limited life span versus some magic that caused Hanks to be a kid in an adult body), "Big" is the far superior film. This one doesn't really have the magic that it should have. And Williams, who we thought would be wonderful in the role, is good, but he just didn't convince us that he really was ten years old (with his references to Doctor Kevorkian and televangelists among other things). The big question is where does one find adult sized pajamas or those neat flashing sneakers, which are designed for kids. The biggest shock is that Francis Ford Coppola, who directed such engrossing movies as "Apocalypse Now," "The Godfather," and "Peggy Sue Got Married," would deliver such a mediocre movie. Don't get us wrong, the movie is okay, but certainly not anything great and certainly not the laugh a minute film it appeared it would be. We give it just a 5 out of 10.
    The most objectionable thing in the movie is the occasional sexual reference or dialogue that is heard. There's very little else that stands out (just one violent punching scene, a farting scene, very little drinking or smoking and mild profanity) as objectionable. The biggest thing is that kids will probably be bored by this film. While it looks like it's geared toward them, and there are some things kids will enjoy, it's more designed for what's left of the kid in every adult. The film pushes the point of "carpe diem" or living your life to your fullest while you can, but most kids won't fully appreciate this until they get much, much older. Still, other than the sexual stuff, there's not much here to object to. As alway though, read through the listings so that you can make up your own mind.

  • A person is dressed in a "bottle of whiskey" Halloween costume at a party.
  • Dolores invites Jack (thinking he's as old as he looks) down to a bar she frequents where one can have drinks to "take the edge off."
  • Some people are seen drinking outside of the bar, and others are seen drinking inside.
  • Jack goes into the above bar to meet Dolores and makes friends with a man who drinks shots, and gets drunk, while Jack has several "Shirley Temples."
  • When Jack is born, he's slightly bloody.
  • Jack nicks himself while shaving and there's just a tiny bit of blood.
  • Several women see Karen (at a costume party) and not knowing she's pregnant, remark about how fat she's getting.
  • The other school kids aren't nice to Jack when he first arrives. They won't play with him, they call him names (see "Imitative Behavior") or are afraid of him just because he looks different.
  • The other kids won't touch a basketball that Jack has just held for fear of some horrible disease he might give them.
  • Jack has an episode of angina (chest pains) and collapses down the stairs and is in pain. This may be scary to younger kids who don't understand what's happening.
  • None.
  • Phrases: "Freak," "Doof," "Fart," "Shut up," "Losers," "Let's kick their butts," and "Rectal Rocket."
  • Twice we hear "You've got the ‘exactly' disease." "What's that?" "It's where your mouth smells exactly like your butt."
  • A girl pokes Jack with a stick as she tries to figure out if he's a "freak" or not.
  • Jack slides down the stairs inside a cardboard box.
  • There's a prolonged farting scene with the boys up in the tree house. They "capture" a fart in a tin can and then drop a match in it which causes the gas to explode.
  • The boys make a concoction of worms, noodles and other food products and want Jack to eat it, and he does. Later, when Mr. Woodruff joins them in the tree house, he has to eat a similar, disgusting mixture.
  • Jack and the other boys throw water balloons down onto some girls who want to come up into the tree house.
  • Dolores gives "the finger" to the man who punched Jack (see "Violence").
  • None.
  • None.
  • None.
  • 3 "ass" words, 1 hell, 1 SOB, and 3 uses of "Oh my God," and 1 use each of "God," "Christ," and "Oh God," as exclamations.
  • A person is dressed in a "mutant space creature" Halloween costume that has four bare rubber breasts on the front of it.
  • A kid, when asked what he wants to be when he grows up, tells his attractive teacher "a gynecologist," and when asked why, he replies "Because of you."
  • While talking to Dolores (who's wearing a low cut dress), Jack pokes his fingers from inside his shirt to emulate nipples.
  • Dolores tells Jack (whom she thinks is the principal) that she found dirty magazines under her son's bed. Later Jack asks his dad what dirty magazines are.
  • Jack's dad is an ad photographer and is seen taking pictures of buxom farm girls with lots of cleavage showing.
  • Jack shows the other boys in a tree house a "Penthouse" magazine and all of the boys gaze through it (we don't see any of the pictures). The boys ask Jack if he's got a "boner" or an "erector," but Jack doesn't know what they're talking about. Later Jack buys another "Penthouse" at a convenience store.
  • While Jack is away for a sleep over, his parents are excited that they have the house all to themselves (but are only seen kissing).
  • A man that Jack meets at a bar (where he's waiting to meet Dolores), tells Jack about a woman who "spanked him," but how he then "went limp." Of course, Jack doesn't understand what the guy's talking about. The man then says that his wife threw him out due to his "little escapades" (ie. affairs).
  • That same man, when seeing Dolores in tight fitting jeans, says, "I bet you could crack walnuts on her ass."
  • Jack and Dolores dance and Jack imitates what he sees another man doing, which includes putting both of his hands on her butt. She gets turned on and starts passionately kissing him, which is more than he can handle at the ripe old age of ten and he backs away.
  • A person is dressed as a pack of cigarettes at a Halloween costume party.
  • Dolores pulls out a cigarette, but Jack pulls it out of her mouth and snaps it in two.
  • Jack's dad smokes a cigarette.
  • Dolores smokes a cigarette in a bar.
  • Just some discussion between Jack's parents about what's best for him, but nothing bad.
  • Dolores mentions that she's divorced and later we hear that her husband just walked out on her and Louie.
  • There's a quick child birth scene (no nudity, but a little bit of pain) if young kids don't know what's happening.
  • Why Jack is aging so fast (he has a rare growth disorder where his cells are working four times faster than normal) and whether it might happen to them (kids might worry about this).
  • Making fun of, or being scared of, people who look different from everyone else.
  • Karen, worried about Jack's first day at school, tells him that if any other kids bother him he should tell the teacher and then she (Karen) will "kill them" (not said in a mean way).
  • There's some typical kids pushing other kids activity.
  • Jack "high fives" another student and whacks the other kid's hand really hard (but not intentionally -- he just doesn't know his own power).
  • The tree house collapses from the tree and falls to the ground, but no one is hurt.
  • Jack and the boys throw water balloons at some girls.
  • Jack accidentally knocks over some glasses in a bar. A bully gets up, threatens Jack and eventually punches him in the face. A small bar fight then breaks out (and Jack ends up in jail for a short period of time -- but nothing more is made of this).

  • Reviewed August 9, 1996

    Other new and recent reviews include:

    [1917] [Bombshell] [Cats] [Little Women] [Spies In Disguise] [Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker] [Uncut Gems]

    Privacy Statement and Terms of Use and Disclaimer
    By entering this site you acknowledge to having read and agreed to the above conditions.

    All Rights Reserved,
    ©1996-2020 Screen It, Inc.