Leave It To Beaver

What's betting the pitch was, "It can't lose -- all the Boomers will bring their kids!" And with a pitch like that, who needs a story? So June and Ward Cleaver (Janine Taylor and Christopher McDonald) and sons Wally (Erik von Detten) and Theodore (Cameron Finley) -- aka "the Beaver" -- are resurrected and forced to shuffle through a series of dreary, skit-like...read more

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What's betting the pitch was, "It can't lose -- all the Boomers will bring their kids!" And with a pitch like that, who needs a story? So June and Ward Cleaver (Janine Taylor and Christopher McDonald) and sons Wally (Erik von Detten) and

Theodore (Cameron Finley) -- aka "the Beaver" -- are resurrected and forced to shuffle through a series of dreary, skit-like scenes that never manage to add up to a story, like so many squeaky-clean zombies entirely stripped of soul or resonance. Like the Brady family in THE BRADY BUNCH MOVIE, the

big-screen Cleavers are stuck in time, but unlike the Brady picture, which radiated real affection for the polyester-clad clan, this movie is an infelicitous mix of bland nostalgia and smarmy, pseudo-sophisticated contempt for the conventions of a more innocent time. Sure, Beaver gets his bike

stolen by a bad kid; weaselly Eddie Haskell (Adam Zolotin) compares himself to Brad Pitt; and there are some African-American youngsters at school, but otherwise the Cleavers' home town of Mayfair is all late '50s/early '60s small-town wholesomeness. At the same time, the sight of June vacuuming

in pearls sends Ward into a fetishistic frenzy, and the ever-eager Beaver is reimagined as a pint-sized putz, presumably because some shallow, thirtysomething cynic figured that any kid who got into so many silly scrapes must have been one dumb bunny. All but the most easily pleased kids will be

bored as can be, and anyone who has fond memories of TV's Leave It to Beaver would probably rather not besmirch them.

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