- 1h 20m
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John Ritter, Amy Yasbeck and Jack Warden star in this hilarious comedy with an offbeat sense of humor. Good-natured Ben Healy (Ritter) and his social-climbing wife Flo (Yasbeck) adopt seven-year-old Junior (Michael Oliver) to help brighten their lives. But Junior soon turns an ordinary camping trip, an innocent birthday party and even a little league baseball game into full-scale comic nightmares. Thinking all his new son needs is some loving attention, Ben puts up with Junior’s mishaps – but only to a point. Just as he’s ready to take drastic action, Ben realizes that beneath the little monster lurks an angel craving affection in this satire on the trials of modern-day family life.
© 1990 Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.
Rotten Tomatoes® Score
Critics Consensus: Mean-spirited and hopelessly short on comic invention, Problem Child is a particularly unpleasant comedy, one that's loaded with manic scenery chewing and juvenile pranks.
The end is refreshingly less sentimental than it seems to be shaping up to be, but the film's ugly moments can't help but leave a bad taste.
June 25, 2017
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Common Sense Media
Common Sense Says
Antics of a diabolical child are neither valuable nor funny.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that in this slapstick comedy, a 7-year-old boy causes chaos from start to finish. He's bad for the sake of being bad and delights in setting fires, causing accidents, hurting people, pickpocketing, and driving recklessly, all without remorse. His misbehavior is exaggerated and unrealistic. Despite characters being pummeled, hit with a baseball bat, squished and squashed, and even sailing through the air locked in a suitcase, no one is injured. There's lots of potty humor (including the boy's penchant for peeing on people and farting for effect). Mild swearing is frequent ("crap," "ass," "hell," "goddamn"), and there are several slurs ("Japs," "retarded"). Stereotypically heartless nuns and a priest are used as comic foils and objects of disdain, including shots of hefty nuns undressing and a priest sitting on the toilet. The movie also presents a very negative take on adoption.
A Lot or A Little?
The parents’ guide to what’s in this movie.
Positive Role Models
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
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- Genre:Comedy, Family
- Release Date:July 27, 1990
- Languages:English, Spanish
- Audio Format:5.1
- Screen Pass Eligible:Yes
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