Squeaky-voiced pre-teens--mostly offspring of divorced parents--run wild in a fictional Chicago airport when all flights are canceled on Christmas Eve.
Big question: Can the presence of Lewis Black (as the requisite passenger relations grouch), Wilmer Valderrama, Rob Corddry, David Koechner and others make "Unaccompanied Minors" fun for anyone out of junior high?
Skip it: Director Paul Feig totally understood adolescents on "Freaks and Geeks," but "Unaccompanied Minors" is a 90-minute sugar high from which you'll be eager to come down. Almost every scene seems to result in a chase, a pratfall or an embarrassing moment for Black or Valderrama.
Catch it: For the enjoyment of spotting TV faves like Jessica Walter and Tony Hale ("Arrested Development"), B.J. Novak and Mindy Kaling ("The Office") and Steve Bannos and Dave "Gruber" Allan ("Freaks and Geeks"). Hale's character in "Unaccompanied Minors" may as well be Buster!
Bottom line: "Unaccompanied Minors" feels like a pre-teen John Hughes comedy in need of Ritalin. It's pretty sad to see so many talented comedians given nothing funny to do, and the movie proves only that Feig has a lot of good sports as friends.
Bonus: As it turns out, IOUs do not work as payment in the adult world. Please adjust your budget accordingly.
Matt Pais is the metromix movies producer.
Directed by Paul Feig; screenplay by Jacob Meszaros and Mya Stark, based on Susan Burton's "Babysitting" heard on "This American Life"; cinematography by Christopher Baffa; edited by George Folsey Jr. and Brad E. Wilhite; production design by Aaron Osborne; music by Michael Andrews; produced by Lauren Shuler Donner and Michael Aguilar. A Warner Bros. Pictures release. Running time: 1:29. MPAA rating: PG (mild rude humor and language).
Oliver -- Lewis Black
Zach -- Wilmer Valderrama
Charlie -- Tyler James Williams
Spencer -- Dyllan Christopher
Katherine -- Dominique Saldana
Grace -- Gina MantegnaCopyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times