Here's one of those titles from my past that I might have actually seen before. That said, I can say with all honesty that if I have, that particular memory escapes me because there was nothing at all familiar about it.
A responsible teenager named Chris (Elisabeth Shue) is asked to look after some kids while the parents are out to a party. The kids are teenage a brother, Brad (Kieth Coogan), and his little sister, Sara (Maia Brewton). Brad's like, 14 in this, so why he can't look after things is completely beyond me, but there you have it. He's got a bit of a thing for Chris, who, to be fair, is only a couple of years older than him. He's accompanied in this film by his best friend, and total love-to-hate weasel, Daryl (Anthony Rapp). No really. I know he's the comedy relief in this and everything, but this kid annoyed me. As for Sara, well, she's the "cuteness" to the movie, being a girl who's totally obsessed with Thor, and that almost bratty kid who has to show the grown ups what's what.
Chris gets a call from her friend Brenda (Penelope Ann Miller) who tells her she's run away from home, and is currently stuck in the heart of the Chicago at a bus station, asking to be picked up. Being her only hope, Chris leaves with the kids, with an alibi of "we went for ice cream". The rest of the movie is Chris fighting her way through the big rough city, facing all sorts of fun scary stuff.
I was pretty lukewarm with this movie. Moments were cute or fun, but I think it's another one I was just too late on. Some of the dialogue could be considered not quite PC these days, and that was a part of what took me out of it. Not so much that any of it offended me, personally, but in reviewing it, I have to consider others as well. Take for example big brother teasing little sister, saying that Thor's a "homo". For some, nowadays, that might not be so cool. Otherwise, it was just another goofy family adventure to me, and nothing about it really and truly stuck out for me.
But I will say this, I enjoyed it for what it was for the most part. I know it seems like I'm ready to give this one a bad rating, but this brought some sort of weird nostalgia up for me as well in the sense that it's almost an iconic thing from my past that I constantly looked at, but never rented. Again, if it ever did get rented, I sure as hell didn't remember it. In the end, I'm glad I finally saw it, and for the most part, it's a decent family film for it's time. I would just say that it hasn't aged particularly well.
It's interesting to see that this is actually Chris Columbus' directorial debut movie. This is the guy who would go on to direct titles like 'Home Alone', 'Mrs. Doubtfire', and the first two 'Harry Potter' movies among others. Of course, this is also the 'Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief' guy; a film which I was immensely disappointed in. He's one of those mid-level directors who gives his movies certain charm, but you like some better than others. This one is often considered one of his better films, but I see it as something of a middle-ground film for him.