29 August 2009 | Wizard-8
Not laugh-out-loud funny, but charming
I remember as a kid being intrigued by the ad for this movie, with its cartoon image and its stick-in-the-head tagline ("Prices are double. Your love life's in trouble. The car won't start. Your boss has no heart. The door squeaks. The roof leaks. Your stereo just went mono. All you need is a little Max Dugan.") But the movie disappeared quickly, and it seemed to have vanished completely, since I never remember it coming on television. I was surprised that it received a DVD release, since there was nothing to indicate it had built a cult. Anyway, I decided to finally watch it.
Although it's branded as a comedy, it really isn't. Yes, there is the occasional one-liner, but mostly it's a light-hearted drama. And a charming one at that. Neil Simon wrote some very likable characters, even down to the ones who show up quickly and disappear never to be seen again in the movie. The cast could not be better. Broderick in his debut performance tones it down compared to how annoying he became when he was older. Sutherland is believable as a cop who has feelings for the woman in his life yet still feels he has his duty as a cop. Robards and Mason, who have most of the focus, are also good.
The movie isn't without problems - there are a few spots where the characters seem unusually dim-witted - but overall it's a sweet movie that will make you feel good at the end. Give it a try.