JJ's life has been miserable ever since his ill mother had to give him up. The only two good things he has are his best friend Sophia and his wonderful talent for music. Determined to know what happened to his mom, the young man escapes from his foster mother, a woman who encourages her charges to steal and bully. Following his memories, he takes shelter in Central Park. JJ becomes the new protégé of the Guardian, a homeless eccentric and self-appointed King of Central Park who promises to protect the boy and offers him the companionship of a dog called Mutt in exchange for food. Also, JJ's path crosses with Rebecca Cairn, another eccentric who lives in a brownstone overlooking the park. She takes particular interest in him, as does her estranged husband Noah Cairn who is always rescuing Rebecca when she grows depressed. JJ tries to shake off the help of these characters, thinking that his life would be better on his own. However, JJ's foster mother is looking for him, making his ... Written by
Remakes are bad news. There have been many examples of this in the past decade. From movies like Bedazzled and Sabrina to TV-to-movie repurposings like Beverly Hillbillies and McHale's Navy, the field is littered with failures. One can only hope no director will ever have enough gall to remake Casablanca or Citizen Kane.
I saw this movie only because an online TV listing misidentified this as the 1977 movie that I enjoyed so many years ago. That movie had a youthful joy and sense of innocence that was refreshing in the crime-ridden NYC of the '70s. Alas, apart from the boy's name and the fact that he ran off to Central Park, nothing else was even remotely similar. This JJ is not likeable at all. He's irresponsible and selfish and backed by a host of characters that I care little about, least of all the absurd Guardian, something of a second-rate Fisher King.
It would have been nice to celebrate Central Park's sesquicentennial this year with a DVD of the first movie. For now, I'll have to continue searching and waiting for it to air.
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