Sunday, September 09, 2007

DVD Review: Unaccompanied Minors

Unaccompanied Minors is about a group of kids who are stranded in the airport on Christmas Eve because of a snowstorm. They get put into the Unaccompanied Minors room with all the other minors traveling without their parents or guardians, and of course, when there's a room full of kids and no proper adult supervision, chaos reigns.

Spencer, played by Dyllan Christopher, and four other kids, Charlie (Tyler James Williams), Grace (Gina Mantegna), Donna (Quinn Shephard), and Beef (Brett Kelly) find unlikely friendship in each other when they sneak out of the Unaccompanied Minors room and wreak havoc in the airport. They get into trouble and Spencer is separated from his sister, Katherine (Dominique Saldana), when she and the other unaccompanied minors are sent to a nearby hotel to wait out the storm. Spencer and his friends are kept under supervision in the UM room at the airport under the orders of Passenger Relations Manager, Oliver Porter (Lewis Black).

Spencer and his friends find creative and ingenious ways to escape and get to his sister at the airport so that she can have a Christmas with Santa, and get into lots of adventures and mischief along the way.

Special features on the DVD include a commentary by director Paul Feig, writers Jacob Meszaros and Mya Stark, and actor/comedian Lewis Black, who plays the Passenger Relations Manager in the movie. There's also Charlie's dance reel, additional deleted scenes, and a featurette of the guards in the hall which run up to about twenty minutes. You can watch some of it courtesy of the BC Goodie Bag.

It's a fun movie, with lots of antics to laugh at, sweet and awkward teen romance, and a feel-good Christmas ending to it. It's highly unrealistic, sure, but most movies usually are, so that doesn't really matter here. When the film was released in December, Chris Beaumont compared it to Home Alone “but without the heart, but that’s me judging based on a trailer.”

I think it's got a heart, and what I like most about Unaccompanied Minors is that it's mostly about friendship — how a group of kids that have absolutely nothing in common can become friends when circumstances bring them together, and the way they work together to make the lousy situation of being stranded at the airport on Christmas Eve less intolerable for everyone. This friendship factor is something that Home Alone certainly didn't have. Even the clip of the guards in the hall features the friendship between them.

While Unaccompanied Minors is no epic movie, it is hilarious and enjoyable, and definitely worth watching with your friends.


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