Bil’s rating (out of 5): B.
USA, 1996. New Regency Pictures, Regency Enterprises, Warner Bros., Yorktown Productions. Story by Jeff Rothberg, Francis X. McCarthy Jr., Screenplay by Alvin Sargent. Cinematography by David Watkin. Produced by Norman Jewison, Arnon Milchan, Jeff Rothberg. Music by Marc Shaiman. Production Design by Ken Adam. Costume Design by Ruth Myers. Film Editing by Stephen E. Rivkin. Toronto International Film Festival 1996.
One of the very worst films of its year, and one of the lowest points in Norman Jewison’s career. This ghastly comedy is about a precocious youngster (Haley Joel Osment) who invents an imaginary friend (Gerard Depardieu) after losing his mother (Nancy Travis) in a car accident and is forced to live with her best friend (Whoopi Goldberg). Goldberg and Osment get everything they could possibly get out of their roles, as does Depardieu doing a fine enough job with the whimsical creation he is expected to come up with, but every scene runs on longer than it should and very few of them actually contribute to any kind of story, then suddenly the film ends abruptly. Ute Lemper has a lovely few moments (because she is a perpetually lovely woman) as a circus performer who harbours the little boy after he tries to run away from his adoptive mother.