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I realize that a short story, unless it's part of an anthology, is difficult to use as a TV or movie story without a certain amount of padding but I think there is just a bit too much padding. It's a good and fun family movie, I'll give it that, but I was hoping it would stick a bit closer to the short story. There were times I felt they'd used the title, character names, and a few of the incidents from the story and that's it.
It's best for someone who is not expecting it to be the same as the short story.
I think the 1975 version was much better and it still played rather fast and loose with the story. Being shorter it didn't have a chance to play _quite_ so fast and loose, though.
I guess I'm just disappointed that they felt they had to change so much of O. Henry's story.
I'm keeping it around for my grandson who will enjoy it but I'll also introduce him to the source story. He's almost 10 so it won't be a problem with his attention span and also will help him to realize that if you've read a jacket or cover blurb (or even seen the movie) you haven't read the story. He tends to base his book reports on blurbs.
A nice cast was assembled and they all gave good performances. Christoper Lloyd and the late Michael Jeter are very dependable and a pleasure to watch. Child actors, by their very nature, are often a bit cutesy and the boy should have been a couple of years older with a certain rough and readiness about him but I think they managed to make him a bit annoying, which is almost as good.
5 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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