A former vaudevillian magician (MacLaine) moves her straight-laced niece (Garr) and her two mischievous children to a small town. When the two kids get in trouble with a neighbor for ...
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A former vaudevillian magician (MacLaine) moves her straight-laced niece (Garr) and her two mischievous children to a small town. When the two kids get in trouble with a neighbor for stealing vegetables from his garden, the aunt concocts an illusion of ghosts in revenge. Only trouble is the whole town believes it is real and soon the press is swarming the town and a major magic trick is required for everyone to save face.Written by
John Sacksteder <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In a scene set in 1962, characters tell the box-office clerk at a movie theater they want two tickets to The Miracle Worker. Prior to the introduction of multiplex cinemas years later, it was unnecessary to specify which movie you wanted to see because the theater was only showing one picture. See more »
After the closing credits, Kay (Teri Garr's character) changes the "open" sign on the diner door to "closed" See more »
Bright and likable at first, but a bit of a mess by the end
This film - a nostalgic look back at early 1960s America - initially has a lot going for it. The early scenes with single mother Kay Harris (Terri Garr) struggling with the pressures of troublemaking kids and an irascible aunt who leads the children into more mischief are amusing, fast-paced and generally engaging.
But once the plot switches to Kay inherting a rundown diner the film slowly goes downhill. The miracle narrative that takes over the film is predictable and uninteresting with an inept finale.
More significantly, too many new characters are introduced in the second half so that the film not only feels chaotic and messy, but that the central family we followed with interest in the first half feels like an afterthought. Especially so with Garr's character who becomes a supporting role in a film where she's supposedly the central character.
Overall, the film isn't too bad but should've been better than the afternoon TV timewaster that it is. Particularly so for the underrated Garr who after 15 years of impressive work saw her film career ebb away due to flops like this.
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