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  snow day
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Snow Day

Rated [PG], 88 minutes
Starring Chris Elliot, Chevy Chase, Pam Grier, Jean Smart
Screenplay by Will McRobb & Chris Viscardi
Directed by Chris Koch

IN SHORT: All the feel of a Jean Shepherd story, and none of the fun.

... but Cranky knew he was at least 30 years too old to be the target demo for this flick, so he planted himself in front of another reviewer and his five year old daughter. Said kidlet laughed once and, when all was said and done, turned to her dad and said "That was good."

Ah, kidlets. They just haven't seen as much as I. Then again, fart jokes and snowball havoc against superiority figures is just perfect for the single digit folk. But does Snow Day provide anything to keep grownups from wishing that they had brought enough sedatives to knock 'em out for the hour and a half of their lives that this thing takes up? Two things, mainly.

The first is the opening gag of the flick, which happens about five seconds into the flick, before the opening credits. The second is the presence of punk founder Iggy Pop, in the only clever-enough-for-old-folks gag in the flick. Other than that, as I said above, fart jokes and snowball fights.

Snow Day is, basically the story of teenager Hal Brandston (Mark Webber) and his sister Natalie (Zena Gray). Stuck in Syracuse, New York in the middle of a definitely un-winterlike 60 degree heatwave, Natalie wishes for tons of snow; for that one precious day off from school. Hal is wishing for a chance with the ultimate hottie in school, Claire Bonner (Emmanuelle Chriqui), to whom he is "invisible". Hal's best gal friend Lane (Schuyler Fisk) is, well, you don't have to think to figure this one out. Their dad, (Chevy Chase) is the weather man on a local teevee channel facing certain unemployment due to the popularity of the Ken doll weatherman on a competing station. Their mom (Jean Smart) is too busy with work to spend any quality time. Younger brother Randy (Connor Matheus) demands all the attention that a three (maybe four) year old would. And Pam Grier is just as wasted as all the other adults, playing Chevy's boss.

When the wished for blizzard finally materializes, Nat mobilizes the kids to try to stop the hated SnowPlowMan (Chris Elliot) from clearing the streets, hoping to stretch one snow day into two.

That's about it folks, strictly a for-kids-only story. It's a Nickelodeon produced film, and that cable channel knows its target better than anyone. Like last years, non-Nickelodeon Baby Geniuses, Snow Day is an absolute stinker. But you can't pry the tape of the latter film out of the hands of my 6 year old nephew, and Cranky's gut tells him Snow Day will be the same this year.

Which means, rather than dropping this in the $0 file, we kick it to the side as a kids only flick, which doesn't get rated at all. If you've got kidlets big enough to stash in a theater, solo, buy the biggest popcorn and hide. If you've got to sit with the younger kidlets, you have my sympathy.

As for the late Jean Shepherd, teller of grand tales of Americana on the radio waves and in books, his stories always tended to mention his younger brother Randy, who is/was quite like the same-named kidlet in this story. Shep also had the trapped by snow story down pat (though his were set in Indiana). As soon as I heard the li'l kidlet name, my already wandering mind locked in.

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