Sunday, March 26, 2006

"Do I have an Uncle?"

In one of John Hughes’ finest family films “Uncle Buck” he explores the relationship between Buck Russell (John Candy) and his estranged brother’s family. After Cindy Russell’s father has a heart attack she and her husband Bob (Buck’s brother) are frantically searching for someone to watch the kids. Since they have recently moved from Minneapolis to a Chicago suburb (a Hughes trademark) they have limited options. Conveniently Buck lives in Chicago, yet Cindy is less than thrilled to have him in charge of the children.
Buck arrives in the middle of the night and when the children awake to find their parents gone, and an Uncle they’ve never met in charge of their care they are slightly shocked. Buck is a bachelor, relies on horse races and gambling for his income, and has little or no domestic or child rearing skills. However he quickly wins the hearts of Miles (Macaulay Culkin) and Maizy (Gabby Hoffmann.) Tia the Russell’s 15-year-old daughter however is a bit harder to break through to. There are a lot of funny scenes with Buck and the two youngest children, however the real important relationship is between Buck and Tia.

Angry that her family moved and her mother seems to choose her carrier over the family she is very cold and rebellious. Buck and Tia are constantly at odds with each other. Eventually Buck is on the way to bring Tia home from a “cheerleader slumber party” she snuck out to, when he finds her walking alone because her boyfriend “Bug” has tried to rape her.
Buck and Tia bond and teach, “Bug” a lesson, they also teach eachother how important family is and that the biggest family charity case can be your closest ally. This is an unconventional family film, because it is not the perfect family on the outside. Candy’s portrayal of Uncle Buck makes him impossible not to love. In one scene he toys with the idea of taking Miles and Maizy to cheat on a horse race.
I recommend this film to anyone that is a fan of John Candy or Hughes films, it is filled with hilarious moments and happy endings, the way a family comedy should be.

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