A well-intentioned but routine sci-fi fantasy, AND YOU THOUGHT YOUR PARENTS WERE WEIRD concerns a couple of whiz-kid inventors trying to follow in the footsteps of their late father, a computer genius who seemed to be on the verge of a breakthrough when he died, an apparent suicide.
Fifteen-year-old Josh Carson (Joshua Miller) and his 10-year-old brother Max (Edan Gross) have their own secret project: a cute little R2D2-like robot that, when perfected, will be able to do tons of chores as well as awesomely brilliant mathematical calculations. Since their dad's death, the
boys' mother Sarah (Marcia Strassman) has had trouble making ends meet. The boys' goal is to develop a robot good enough to sell for big bucks to a major corporation and thereby save the family home from being repossessed by the bank. The boys build Newman, the robot, from various household items,
but Newman still has many flaws to be ironed out.
By some fluke, an other-worldly message is conjured up by a Ouija board and this causes the spirit of Matthew Carson (the voice of Richard Libertini), the boys' deceased father, to float down from its heavenly abode and enter Newman's mainframe. That Newman (the voice of Alan Thicke) can now
speak stuns the boys, but they really flip when they realize that Newman houses their dad's spirit. During the course of events Newman proves himself to executives anxious to purchase the robot, although now that Matthew's spirit inhabits the robot the boys aren't so anxious to sell.
Unbeknownst to Josh and Max, there are evildoers lurking in the background ... a sinister duo responsible for their dad's demise. Meanwhile, the youngsters have their hands full fending off the likes of a ruthless electronics company promoter trying to horn in on their invention and a pushy
female reporter who will do anything to get an exclusive story on Newman the robot. As might be expected, the villains get their just desserts while the boys emerge triumphant. As soon as all is well with his family, the spirit of Matthew Carson returns heavenward. This ultimately proves lucrative
for Josh and Max, for once their dad departs, they're free to sell Newman to the highest-bidder.
Writer-director Tony Cookson's low-budget concoction isn't really bad, a nice little family entertainment, but virtually every plot point in AND YOU THOUGHT YOUR PARENTS WERE WEIRD has been used before in one variation or another of the same tried-and-true theme; a basic formula dating all the
way back to FRANKENSTEIN and reincarnated in a much lighter vein in FORBIDDEN PLANET, the late 1950s MGM hit featuring Robby the Robot. AND YOU THOUGHT YOUR PARENTS WERE WEIRD would have been more fun had it aimed at being more original.
Instead, Cookson relies entirely on familiar gimmicks, cliches and stereotypical characterizations. The actors--kids and adults alike--are attractive and the audience, more or less, roots for the boys and their mom to come out on top, but everything on view remains a mediocre rehash of events and
situations that have been done with more finesse in the past, from the aforementioned FORBIDDEN PLANET to such splashy, effects-driven extravaganzas as STAR WARS, ET ... and beyond.
Cast & Details See all »
- Released: 1991
- Rating: PG
- Review: A well-intentioned but routine sci-fi fantasy, AND YOU THOUGHT YOUR PARENTS WERE WEIRD concerns a couple of whiz-kid inventors trying to follow in the footsteps of their late father, a computer genius who seemed to be on the verge of a breakthrough when he… (more)