Snow Day

People get ready: Bill, Lane and Hal (Brown, Fisk and Webber) watch the usual teen antics on the day before the big blizzard....
dir Chris Koch
scr Will McRobb, Chris Viscardi
with Mark Webber, Schuyler Fisk, Chevy Chase, Chris Elliott, Jean Smart, Zena Grey, Emmanuelle Chriqui, J Adam Brown, Damian Young, Pam Grier, John Schneider, Iggy Pop
Paramount 00/US 2 out of 5 stars
Review by Rich Cline
Here's another lively and stupid kids' flick from Nickelodeon ... but at least this one isn't insulting to either the grown-ups or the kids. Snow Day is directed with energy and flair, without ever being too terribly irritating. And its cast is actually pretty good, which is not usually the case in this kind of film. This isn't to say it's an intelligent, clever, meaningful film. Oh please. It stars Chevy Chase and Chris Elliott, for heaven's sake.

The basic premise is that "anything can happen on a snow day," as residents of Syracuse, NY, have a day off work and school after a sudden blizzard. The main plot threads: Teenager Hal (Webber) plots with his pals (Fisk and Brown) to win the heart of the school babe (Chriqui). Hal's weatherman dad (Chase) plots to get even with his ratings-stealing rival (Schneider). Hal's businesswoman mom (Smart) plots to work from home, despite the presence of the toddler from hell. And Hal's 10-year-old sister (Grey) plots to foil the snowplow man (Elliott) from clearing the streets, thereby achieving the legendary second snow day.

And so on. Yes, it's mindless and silly. And you know you're in trouble when Chevy Chase delivers the film's most hilarious and subtle performance. But it could have been so much worse (think Harriet the Spy) that I won't complain any more. Inoffensive, mildly funny, mercifully short. And not a Pokemon in sight.

[PG--themes, vulgarity] 17.Apr.00
US release 11.Feb.00; UK release 21.Apr.00

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2000 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall