Unaccompanied Minors
It’s “That 70′s Show” where Fez gets his ass kicked by kids … classic.

Theatrical Release Date: 12/08/2006
Director: Paul Feig
Cast: Dyllan Christopher, Gina Mantegna, Quinn Shephard, Tyler James Williams

As another testament to the power of HD television, I bothered to watch “Unaccompanied Minors” when it popped up on cable since I’m lazier than that good-for-nothing Uncle you only see on the high holidays.

In the film, a group of misfit teenagers, in the thin vein of “The Breakfast Club”, are stranded at an airport during a blizzard and escape their adult supervision to help out one of their own as he tries to save Christmas for his little sister. That’s a really loose plot description but I don’t think anyone really cares who’d be visiting this site so I’ll leave it at that.

The kids are all ably played and it could have gone a lot worse, even though one of the kids is Brett Kelly. You may not recognize the name but he’s the one who played the creepy kid in “Bad Santa” and apparently that wasn’t acting. Seriously, someone get that kid to a real school or hire him some friends because unless he saves all of his money from acting, we’re going to see him on Court TV next.

The adults, led by Lewis Black and Wilmer Valderrama are all over-the-top caricatures and exactly what you’d expect in a kids film. They’re meant to be foiled and that’s what they get.

Speaking of Lewis Black, after seeing “Accepted” and now this, I’m beginning to think he doesn’t read scripts and just does any film that purports to send a paycheck and has a catering department. That’s not to say that I blame him though since for a relatively small amount of money, I would tell you this was the greatest Christmas film of all time and that I wear women’s underwear (maybe that last part would cost a little more … but not much).

Really, for its genre and considering it’s marketed at tweens, the film manages to deliver. The jokes are bland but sweet and the chemistry between the kids works, which is probably the most important element. Also, there’s a good scene with Kevin McDonald, Bruce McCulloch and Mark McKinney of “Kids in the Hall” fame as guards playing musical chairs. So, it’s not a complete loss for adults.

If you’ve got a child under 13 they will probably like this, and keeping in mind the intended audience, I’m going to give “Unaccompanied Minors” a 3 out of 5. For those Christmas junkies out there (yes, I’m talking to you Audrey Hess), the film is a pleasant addition to the holiday season movie canon. If you aren’t looking for a innocuous kids film, then this isn’t for you. Otherwise, have a merry viewing experience.