29 August 2016 | Red-Barracuda
Charming and lightly amusing Gary Coleman comedy vehicle
Back in the early 80's, the pint-sized actor Gary Coleman was a massive TV star. He became most associated for playing the character Arnold in the series Diff'rent Strokes. It was a role that was so popular with the public that Coleman ended up earning $70,000 an episode – pretty astronomical money in the early 80's and not too shabby even by today's standards. Alongside this high prominence series he made a number of TV movies also, of which The Kid with the 200 I.Q. was a typical example. In it, Coleman plays a 12 year old boy genius who is given a scholarship at a university. Needless to say, he stands out somewhat in this environment which leads to many strange situations.
I saw this film back in the day as a kid and have only just seen it for the second time just recently. I have to say that, while it is super generic and predictable, it was also still kind of a fun watch. Coleman elicits a certain charm throughout, even if his limited acting range meant that he wholly fails at any point to convince anyone that he is a super intelligent kid. Still, the daft premise is hardly a deal breaker when it comes to family-oriented fare such as this. Coleman's character assists his much older room-mate both athletically and academically, while he tries in vain to fire into a much older cute girl; given that he is meant to be a 12 year old I daresay such scenes would no doubt not be allowed today! There are also some likable performances from some of Coleman's co-stars, in particular Dean Butler as his amiable room-mate and Kari Michaelsen as the girl he has a crush on. All-in-all, this good natured TV movie still makes for an enjoyable watch.