Charlene Michaelson, her two children - teen-aged Amelia 'Milly' Michaelson and precocious adolescent Louis Michaelson - and their dog Max move into a new house in a new neighborhood after the passing of Charlene's husband/the kids' father, Donald Michaelson. Beyond life without Donald, they are all nervous about starting a new life, which, for Charlene, means getting back into the workforce after thirteen years. Milly quickly settles into the neighborhood if only because she becomes fascinated with their next door neighbor, teen-aged Eric Gibb, who authorities believe is autistic. Orphaned Eric has never spoken a word, and without having been told about the incident, began to think he could fly at the exact moment his parents died in a plane crash. Many believe Eric's belief is because he felt he could thus save his parents. Eric's guardian is his dipsomaniac Uncle Hugo Gibb. Milly's high school teacher, Mrs. Carolyn Sherman, who used to be a special needs teacher, looks after Eric ... Written by
Director Cameo: Nick Castle, along with fellow directors John Carpenter and Tommy Lee Wallace (credited as The Coupe de Villes), as the band in the video Milly and Geneva watch while drinking strawberry daiquiris. See more »
Cables holding Eric can visibly be seen as he and Millie are falling off the roof of the school before they crash into Millie's mom. See more »
What do you know about Eric? Have you ever seen him do anything weird?
That;s all I've ever seen him do.
No, I mean really weird.
Dinky Patterson told me something weird about him once.
Who's Dinky Patterson?
Dinky lived here before you; had your room. Anyway, Dinky used to get really annoyed with Eric climbing around outside his window. So, one day, he took his BB gun, stuffed the barrel with wet Kleenex and started shooting at Eric.
That's real sweet.
He said he kept it up for about an hour, ...
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In an atmosphere of fantasy, the movie explores several real human issues. The story centers on a mother (Bonnie Bedelia), her young teenage daughter (Lucy Deakins), and her pre-teen son (Fred Savage) as they struggle to cope after the beloved father's sudden passing. Their grief is intensified by the manner of his death and their almost immediately having to adjust to a new life, a new home, a new neighborhood, and for the kids, a new school and new friends. Into this mix enters Eric (Jay Underwood), the apparently autistic teenage boy next door, who is coping with demons of his own as a result of his parents' sudden death in an airplane crash. So grief is involved, and adjustment, and trying to fit in, and acceptance of human differences, and courage, and love - love within a family group and among people, as well as real boy/girl love. Writer-director Nick Castle deals with these issues with respectful sensitivity, as does the excellent ensemble cast of Lucy Deakins, Jay Underwood, Bonnie Bedelia, Fred Savage, Colleen Dewhurst, Fred Gwynne, and Mindy Cohn. That fantasy might be important to plot movement shouldn't be surprising, considering the movie's title. However, whether that fantasy is allegorical or real, or both, is in the eyes of the beholder. In any case, it's a warm and poignant tale, and it deserves a high place in the literature of motion pictures.
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