Problem Child

"Attila the Hun. Ivan the Terrible. Al Capone. They were all seven once."

Problem Child is a U.S. comedy film that was written by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski and directed by Dennis Dugan. The movie stars John Ritter, Jack Warden, Michael Oliver, Amy Yasbeck, Michael Richards and Gilbert Gottfried. The story begins with a bassinet being left by a woman on a fancy home’s porch. The baby, called Junior, immediately urinates on a woman. He is then repeatedly sent off to live at various homes throughout the years by assorted guardians who become weary of his awful behavior.

For example, the boy uses a bulldozer to demolish a mobile home after his favorite toys are stepped on. Eventually he is left at a Catholic orphanage where he continues to cause disturbances despite the very strict nuns.

Ben Healy (played by John Ritter) is a nice man who works for his father, Big Ben (played by Jack Warden). His father and boss happens to be a tyrannical sporting goods store owner on a campaign to be the town’s Mayor.

Ben discovers that his father wants to sell the store to a Japanese firm instead of leaving it to him. His father informs him that he believes his son is not adopting a suitable work ethic.

Ben wants to have a son, however, his spoiled wife, Flo (played by Amy Yasbeck) has not been able to conceive. Because of this, Ben goes to an unscrupulous agent for adoption named Igor Peabody (played by Gilbert Gottfried) who presents he and his wife with the now 7-year-old Junior (played by Michael Oliver).

Junior continues his destructive ways, setting the house on fire and even becoming pen pals with a serial murderer. Martin Beck (played by Michael Richards) is known as the Bow Tie Killer. With all that is going on, Ben is on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Just then the serial killer who Junior has been corresponding with poses as Junior's uncle in order to kidnap him and Flo for a tidy ransom.

Ben asks his father for the ransom money and he refuses. Ben unwittingly puts his father on live TV, when he reveals to the public his true nature. This destroys his chance at winning the mayoral race. Then Ben steals a neighbor's car to rescue Junior.

After his rescue, Ben says he wants the boy to be himself. Then Junior removes Ben’s bow tie, throwing it over a bridge to demonstrate that he will not be changing. The movie ends with Flo in a truck peering from inside a suitcase, whereupon a pig begins to defecate.

PG
| 1990 | 1 hr 18 min | 5.3/10
Cast
Studio
Director
Robert Simonds, Dennis Dugan
Language
English
Problem Child
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