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As an idle, good-natured bachelor, Uncle Buck is the last person you would think of to watch the kids. However, during a family crisis, he is suddenly left in charge of his nephew and nieces. Unaccustomed to suburban life, fun-loving Uncle Buck soon charms his younger relatives Miles and Maizy with his hefty cooking and his new way of doing the laundry. His carefree style does not impress everyone though - especially his rebellious teenage niece, Tia, and his impatient girlfriend, Chanice. With a little bit of luck and a lot of love, Uncle Buck manages to surprise everyone in this heartwarming family comedy. Written by
Uncle Buck is a typical John Hughes family film, and probably the first of the beginning of a series of family films as director/writer Hughes left the world of teenage film-making (though Career Opportunities would be released the early 90s).
Uncle Buck is a cute, innocuous family film about an unusual uncle trying to adapt to parenting skills, of which he basically has none. When their mother's father has a heart attack, the parents of the three children have to leave town to visit him, so they need a babysitter, pronto! Call it misadventures in babysitting because they get the father's somewhat irresponsible, but loving uncle, Uncle Buck (John Candy).
The story is typical. Uncle Buck is a big mess at first. Not really sure how things work, but trying hard to make friends with the younger kids (Gabby Hoffman and Maculay Culkin), and trying very hard to make peace with the older, cynical niece (Jean Louise Kelly) who for some reason, just can't take a liking to Buck. In part, that's understandable considering that he does try his bess to embarrass her at times in order to get her to see how stupid she's being (especially when she's around her idiot boyfriend, Bug). But in her case, she really has an overdose of teen angst, and that spells trouble for Buck. The niece does her best to get revenge on Buck, and make life as difficult as possible for him so that her parent's will see what an irresponsible bafoon he is, or at least that she pegs him to be.
The story also examines typical John Hughes elements, namely class divisions. Buck isn't exactly wealthy, let alone classy. Also, there are familial tensions, since the oldest daughter doesn't get along with her mother well at all (or either parent really, but we really don't see her relationship with her father). But, like all Hughes comedies, it is resolved and everyone lives happily ever after.
This is a better movie for kids in their mid teens and younger, since Buck's comedic antics (the monster size pancakes, the washing machine mishap, and the revenge on the boyfriend, Bug) will generate plenty of laughs. Buck has his own way of doing things, kind of like Michael Keaton in 'Mr. Mom' (although Keaton follows a standardized process afterwards unlike Buck, who's improvisations are his own, and he sticks with them). The interaction between Bug and Buck are the best because Bug is such an idiot and scared as hell of Buck. Though, I think the funniest scenes are with Laurie Metcalf (always a scene stealer) as the seductive, cooky next door neighbor who takes a liking to Buck.
John Hughes fans in general will probably enjoy this comedy, though that depends if you kept maintained faithfulness to his film catalogue even after he started going strictly with mindless family films (and not teenage comedies). Though, this is the earliest period of that transition, about the same time as Dutch and Curly Sue, so it really depends on what serves your taste as far as John Hughe's family film collection goes.
It is a nice little comedy, and one that wouldn't hurt to try. You'll probably get a few good laughs in there. John Candy always does.
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