Marshall Herskovitz directed this tearjerking schizophrenic combination of The Wonder Years and To Kill a Mockingbird. It is 1972, and John Leary (Danny De Vito) and his two sons Jack (Robert J. Steinmiller Jr.) and Dylan (Miko Hughes) have just moved to Oakland, California. John is a television celebrity who has been fired from one station after another, appearing now on a cheap local station as the Saturday night host of a horror-film showcase. But John spends most of the time drinking and grieving over the loss of his wife, who was recently killed in an accident. The children try to adapt to their new school, and the family tries to adapt to the collection of kooks that populate their neighborhood. Foremost among them is Norman Strick (Gary Sinise), a sinister neo-Nazi who lives across the street. When Strick circulates a petition for the local white-supremacist candidate, John gets drunk and attacks him on his television show. As a result, Strick takes his revenge by abducting one of John's children. ~ Paul Brenner, Rovi
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One of the surprise hit movies for me..I first saw this movie when it first came out on video "yes VHS" And it hit in a lot of emotional areas..I felt it was a strong performance by Danny DeVito and who cant love little miko hughes!..A strong storyline and creepy neighbor rounded everything out for me..This was the first movie I saw gary sinese in and have been a fan of his ever since..
This is my #1 favorite Danny DeVito film (and I have many) and also one of my favorite movies. His performance is nothing less than amazing. The story is wonderful, and though sad and quite heart-wrenching at times, it's all about life and living through it. Don't pass this one by and be fooled by the title thinking this is a little fluff movie - this movie is a fine fine piece of work and deserves to be seen. Danny DeVito deserved an Oscar for this one.