Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Unaccompanied Minors

posted by jmiller
C+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for mild rude humor and language.
Profanity:Mild schoolyard language
Nudity/Sex:Brief kiss
Alcohol/Drugs:Brief references to alcohol, hangover
Violence/Scariness:Comic peril and violence, no one hurt
Diversity Issues:Diverse characters
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2007

In “Unaccompanied Minors,” a group of young travelers are stranded in Chicago’s fictional Hoover Airport on Christmas Eve. Lead to a room full of other children but decidedly empty of Christmas spirit, five break away from the chaotic “rec room,” holding pen, prompting an airport-wide chase that fuels the rest of the film.

The kids all run for different reasons, some deeper and more touching than others (although that’s not saying much, as one youngster bolts in search of a bathroom). There’s even the rebel who resents the “rich kid” but turns out to be sticking around not because she has to, but because she wants to.


If this last part sounds at all familiar, it’s a safe bet the rest of the film will, too. It’s The Breakfast Club for middle schoolers with slightly lower-grade angst and a less memorable soundtrack.


It’s forgettable mutliplex fodder, but it does have occasional and even endearing moments of originality. Although “Minors” characters never really break from the teen-dramedy stereotypes, the likeable cast kicks the Home Alone-in-an-airport script up a notch. As a veteran writer for television’s cult favorite “Arrested Development” as well as “The Office,” director Paul Feig boosts a comedic pedigree the leaves the film with a few genuine laughs.


Parents should know that that while this film is a fairly harmless holiday comedy, it’s content at times is more appropriate for the middle-school crowd than for younger children. The children explore family dynamics and their own experiences with divorce. One character says of her parents: “They just don’t seem to like it when I’m around,” a conflict that is never quite resolved. Family is a major theme of the film, and although the characters remain optimistic, Feig’s overriding cynicism keeps the film from ever getting too emotionally satisfying.


An airline employee (Zach Van Bourke, played by Wilmer Valderrama), is clearly conflicted about letting the children be children while also enforcing the discipline his supervisor pressures him to enforce. Families who see this film might talk about the decisions Van Bourke makes, and how he negotiates is personal beliefs with his professional duties. Families should also discuss the roles of the parents in the film — what traits are portrayed as “good” in parents? What traits are presented as representative of “bad” parents? What prompts the children to talk about their feelings, and how do they become closer to each other by doing so? How might things change if the kids were to open up to their own families?


Families who enjoy this film will also enjoy the holiday classic Home Alone, which is intended for roughly the same age group but contains more violence and more potentially scary scenes. Families might also appreciate 1993’s The Sandlot and 1985’s tale of adolescent teamwork and bonding, The Goonies.



Previous Posts

Should Movie Audiences Text to the Screen?
It is annoying enough when someone near you in a movie theater takes out a cell phone to text. Imagine how it would be if you then saw the text on the screen. That's what a Chinese theater is experimenting with in what they are calling "bullet screens." The idea is that what you are there to enjo

posted 3:59:17pm Sep. 02, 2014 | read full post »

Back to School Guidelines for Parents on Kids and Media
Screen time is a treat, not a right. It’s a good idea to make sure that it comes only after homework, chores, other kinds of play, and family time. Make sure there is some quiet time each day as well. The spirit is nourished by silence. All too often, we try to drown out our unsettled or lonely fe

posted 8:00:27am Sep. 02, 2014 | read full post »

After the Ice Bucket Challenge: Two Upcoming Movies About People With ALS
The Ice Bucket Challenge has brought a lot of money and attention to a devastating illness, ALS or Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, sometimes called Lou Gehrig's Disease for the the New York Yankee who had to leave baseball when he was afflicted with ALS. Two upcoming films about people with ALS

posted 7:00:17am Sep. 02, 2014 | read full post »

Thursdays in September on Turner Classic Movies: The Jewish Experience on Film
This month, TCM has an excellent series of films about the Jewish experience, every Thursday. TCM proudly presents The Projected Image: The Jewish Experience on Film, a weekly showcase of movies focusing on Jewish history and heritage as portrayed onscreen. Co-hosting the films each Thursday is D

posted 9:21:56pm Sep. 01, 2014 | read full post »

Start the School Year With a No-Screen Week
A new study shows another good reason to detox from all screen time now and then, especially for kids.  Children who take a five-day break from all screens are better at reading real-life facial expressions to understand the emotions of the people around them.  Psyblog described the study, which s

posted 3:56:33pm Sep. 01, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.