3.4/10
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113 user 38 critic

Mac and Me (1988)

An alien trying to escape from NASA is befriended by a wheelchair-bound boy.

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2 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Janet Cruise
...
Michael Cruise
Tina Caspary ...
Courtney (as Katrina Caspary)
Lauren Stanley ...
Debbie
Jade Calegory ...
Eric Cruise
...
Mitford
...
Wickett
Ivan J. Rado ...
Zimmerman
...
Jack Jr
...
Linda
Jack Eiseman ...
Splatter Car Driver
Barbara Allyne Bennet ...
Scientist
Richard Bravo ...
Mover #1
Gary Brockette ...
Doctor #2
Sherri Stone Butler ...
Checkout Girl
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Storyline

An alien trying to escape from NASA is befriended by a wheelchair-bound boy.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

How two boys worlds apart become the best of friends. See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 August 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mi amigo Mac  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$13,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$6,424,112 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Janet Cruise (Christine Ebersole), mum of Michael Cruise (Jonathan Ward) and Eric Cruise (Jade Calegory) couldn't really have viewed the new house - including the backyard in particular - before the three of them moved there. This is certainly evident as the property in Hacienda Heights, an LA suburb, appears to have an adjoining hillside that proves perilous to Eric who's confined to a wheelchair. Well one day he hears Mac whistling not that far away, so Eric leans forwards while wheeling himself along, next minute his wheelchair succumbs to gravity, so Eric zooms down the hill, off a cliff and into a lake. Fortunately the little girl Debbie (Lauren Stanley) who lives next door, witnesses Eric's antics, screams for help from the cliff top and so Janet and Michael come running to the scene. Even more fortunately - after much hesitation - Mac who was hanging around on the shore, jumps into the lake and pushes Eric out. He'd been apparently strapped in the whole time and so remained in his wheelchair. However this also nearly caused Eric to drown, but he really fought to keep himself afloat and - like I said - Mac pushed him out. See more »

Goofs

When the little girl sucks Mac into the vacuum and gets flung around the room, a track that goes up the wall, across the ceiling, down the other wall and across the floor is visible for the entire scene. See more »

Quotes

Ronald McDonald: Hiya, kid. How's it going?
Eric Cruise: It's fine.
Ronald McDonald: Nice teddy bear.
[laughs]
See more »

Connections

References Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) See more »

Soundtracks

You Knew What You Were Doing (Every Inch Of The Way)
Performed by Marcella Detroit (as Marcy Levy)
Written by Marcella Detroit (as Marcy Levy) and Jeff Barry
Produced by Jeff Barry and Brooks Arthur
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User Reviews

Wow, this brings back memories. Too bad nostalgia doesn't defend the realization of awfulness. What a stinker.
26 September 2004 | by (UK) – See all my reviews

When I was a child I watched some very bad movies; some were so bad, they made Cool as Ice look like the original Rebel Without a Cause. I'm talking about grade-A quality garbage, here.

Mac and Me was a film I frequently watched – an embarrassing, agonizing, shameless marketing scheme fueled by McDonalds featuring a plot ripped off of E.T. And I ate it all up – I used to love this movie.

Watching it now is like a slap in the face. Wow, it's that bad. When I was younger I didn't notice the numerous references to Mickey D's and Coca-Cola – I just marveled at the sight of strange alien beings whistling to music that played only in my head. I considered Mac and Me to be the pinnacle of film-making. Or perhaps I'm discrediting myself – I wasn't that stupid, but I was naïve enough to believe, at least, that it was a fun movie, and unlike anything I had ever seen before.

Well, at least one opinion remains -- it is unlike anything I've ever seen before – a rip-off so bad beyond words that it's almost as unbelievably awful as another shameless E.T. knock-off, Pod People, my choice for the worst film of all-time – and another 'so-bad-it's-good' gem that is actually so bad it becomes good, then bad again, where it continues in this cycle until it becomes downright petrifying.

The film's protagonist is wheelchair-bound Michael (Jonathan Ward), an adolescent who moves to a new city and finds himself meeting up with a strange puppet – err, alien – named 'Mac' (I guess?), who waddles around like E.T. and is searching for his parents, who were picked up by a NASA space probe and are now out in California doing who-knows-what. Apparently they're not too eager to find their son since they spend the duration of the movie crawling at a snail's pace under the glare of the sun, stopping every now and again to emit sounds similar to that of a drunken elephant, making patterns in the air with their extended index fingers (now, where have I seen that in an alien-oriented movie before?).

I could write an entire book on the faults of Mac and Me. To fit them into a single article almost seems ridiculous.

Primarily it's just plain dumb, although it is also a horrendous mess from a technical standpoint. Its plot resembles that of RoboCop3 – sloppy and vague. Direction is equal to that of a standard TV commercial, only one of the more boring sorts. The acting also compares to a television commercial, only in ads the people aren't always expected to actually say anything other than stare at the camera and smile like they're enjoying whatever product is being pushed. Some of that applies to Mac and Me since it is such a commercial, buy-this-product-after-you're-done-watching-the-movie sort of experience – unfortunately there is the odd moment where the movie doesn't focus on its bizarre alien creatures or Coca-Cola or Ronald McDonald or brand wheelchairs or space exploration companies and demands its so-called 'actors' speak their lines. I'd rather be stuck having to watch fake prosthetic extra-terrestrials quack and make weird noises than suffer through one more 'actor's' attempt at bringing life to the project. My guess is most of the cast were hired from a nearby McDonald's restaurant – seeing how McDonald's funded, promoted, and endorsed this movie, as well as the fact that their company logo is shown from beginning to end. It's about one hundredth as fun as those BMW commercials with 'The Driver,' and one thousandth as subtle.

The dialogue is classic stuff. Conversations usually consist of at least one marketing plug, sometimes more. Here's an example of some great screen writing:

Michael: Gee Mac, I don't know where your parents are. It's tough being in a wheelchair. I'm still adapting to this new home. By the way, in case you didn't get it by now, I don't have any friends except you! Where are your parents, Mac?

Mac: Blurp! Beep! Weeeooop!

Michael: Oh darn.

Annoying Brother Ripped Off of the Brother from E.T.: Gee, how the darn are we gonna get Mac to his parents?

Michael: I don't know. Let's go discuss it over a two-dollar quarter pounder with cheese at McDonald's. First one there's a Coca-Cola! By the way I heard that McDonald's is the number-one food chain in America with over one million restaurants nationwide! That's a whole lotta greatness! Hey look, it's a Krispy Kreme truck – I wonder if the driver, Mr. Shack, is still selling radios.

Granted, that conversation doesn't appear in the film – because it's too good. What I just wrote would qualify for a an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay after being compared to 'Mac and Me.'

Then there's the most memorable and infamous scene, which is when Mac is left home alone during a school day, and 'accidentally' throws a huge orgy with all the eager NASA scientists. Wait a minute, wrong movie. The best (or worst) part of Mac and Me actually takes place at McDonald's (!). It begins as a birthday party, becomes a dance competition, and ends as a frantic showdown between Ronald McDonald and a bunch of football players (?!) and, of course, Mac, doing flips through the air dressed as some sort of animal (another '?!'). Don't ask, because I don't think there's an answer, other than this: $$$

The movie is one huge conglomerate of '80s conglomerations, if that makes any sense. What a wonderful film! (Not.) If you can put up with the wooden acting, bizarre (often downright confusing) screenplay, annoying stereotypical characters, and merchandising plugs…then you really are a sad pathetic waste of space and are exactly the type of candidate they're looking for to pen 'Mac and Me II: The Quest for More Money.' (I had to fit a Mel Brooks reference in there somewhere. After all, he paid me to. And I think that's the entire approach to 'Mac and Me.')


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