Kid, The

MPAA Rating: PG

Entertainment: +3

Content: +2

Two days before his 40th birthday, Russ Durtz (Bruce Willis) has no friends, family or even a dog. Instead, as a successful image maker, Russ has become wealthy helping politicians, corporate executives and public figures conceal their flaws to the public. Suddenly his self-assured cockiness is jolted by the appearance of an annoying, chubby little 8-year-old named Rusty (Spencer Breslin). Both are equally disappointed to discover Rusty is young Russ. As an 8-year-old, Rusty dreams of becoming a pilot, having a family and a wonderful dog named Chester. The boy is not pleased to see what a jerk he grows up to be. Russ has spent his adult life blotting out miserable memories of being fat, tormented by school bullies, and verbally abused by his father. Rusty is everything he hated about himself. There are many funny and poignant moments as the 40-year-old and 8-year-old clash, then bond. Young children may be confused as Russ and Rusty travel back and forth between the present and 30 years earlier. But THE KID, as one parent stated, is an adult movie disguised as a child's, so adults will particularly enjoy this delightful film.

For once, "adult" does not refer to sexual innuendo or dark occult subject matter, which occur in some Disney "childrens" movies. Rather, THE KID deals with an adult who thinks he can forget his past, then learns to see himself through the eyes of a child. Once Russ accepts his past, he begins to appreciate and care for others. But the road to acceptance is rough, and his abrasiveness keeps at bay all but his loyal secretary (Lily Tomlin) and assistant (Emily Mortimer). In one scene, he demands a psychiatrist give him pills without a counseling session because he thinks the boy's appearance is a hallucination. He tells the doctor, "I don't have time to go crazy." THE KID has a few crude words and regular profanities. The expression "screwed up" is also used twice, but has no sexual connotation. When Rusty is chased out of Russ's house and rides off on his bicycle, Russ follows him in a lengthy car chase. Later, when Rusty takes Russ back 30 years, a schoolyard fight results in a bloody nose. The film amazingly avoids any sexual content. This thought-provoking story merits our recommendation for its uplifting messages.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
Buena Vista (Walt Disney Pictures), 350 S. Buena Vista St., Burbank, CA 91521

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Few (4) times - Moderate 4

Obscene Language: None ('screwed up' used in non-sexual context)

Profanity: Few (4) times - Regular 2 (G 1, swear to G 1) Exclamatory 2 (Oh God 2)

Violence: Few times - Mild and moderate (man chases boy on bike, boy hits man in groin, boy's nose bloodied in fight)

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: Once (man takes prescription pills)

Other: Messages of being honest with yourself and others; back view of boy and man at urinal; boy picks nose

Running Time: 101 minutes
Intended Audience: Ages 10 and older

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