Release Year: 2003

Review Date: June 30, 2005

Rating: PG for mild language

Box Office Gross: $69,688,384

Site Rating: 5 out of 10 stars

Recommendation: As a writer I always enjoy solid, decent films that are entertaining and provoke self-examination of unresolved issues, in this case childhood issues, which is what films should strive to do regarding certain topics. Even if it doesn't bring in great numbers at the box office, it will strike a chord with the people who do see it. This one brought in decent numbers, but apparently broke even due to production costs.

The Kid

I think people process their childhoods in different ways. When people go through rough times, they sometimes reminisce on a childhood memory when they were happy, and then they smile for a bit. It's a type of momentary regression that helps them deal with the present.

Some might be watching TV and see a clip from a favorite childhood show and they'll smile briefly and remember how they felt watching the show as a kid.

That happened to me recently. I saw a movie I hadn't seen in about 15 years that brought back happy memories for me (it was also another blatant reminder of how poor the script writing has become in newer flicks, but that's something else...)

Last year, I had written and copyrighted a little review I'd written after I saw the 2003 movie "The Kid." I was waiting for the right moment to post it and I think this is it.

The film was about an unhappy, successful businessman that had shut out everyone in his life and was cruel to people because of trauma he endured as a child. The combination of problems at home and bullying at school made him into a frigid businessman obsessed with success, as though technical accomplishment would make him a worthy human being.

However, he was still unhappy. Then one day a visit from the kid version of himself changed him.

*disclaimer - if your childhood self visits you in the flesh and talks to you - it's time to lay off the drugs.

A little joke there...but the childhood version of himself was a metaphor in the movie for who he was as a child in contrast to who he had become as an adult - an unhappy, pessimistic, cold person.

He'd achieved success in business as an adult, but destroyed and damaged people along the way. He was also cruel to the people he presently worked with.

He was a success and a failure all at the same time. Oh, and you can be both. Don't Kid yourself (pardon the pun).

The funniest line in the movie is when the boy version of himself checks out his adult life in the future and says, "I grow up to be a loser!" (it's priceless the way the child actor delivers the line). Technically, he wasn't a loser. However, his view, his definition of success and priorities had changed for the worse.

The boy version of himself viewed having a family and a dog as being a successful life.

The adult version of himself viewed having money at any cost as a successful life.

How ironic and profound at the same time - but that's the way some people think. That money at any cost is happiness, no matter what you have do to yourself and others to get it. While others value the simple things in life like love. Those people are always happier.

Sometimes people end up differently from how they started. They started with lofty ambitions and ideals, then compromised and became corrupted along the way.

*This review was adapted from a June 2005 Sound Off Column article.

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