Morgan Stewart's Coming Home (1987)

PG-13   |    |  Comedy

Morgan Stewart's Coming Home (1987) Poster

A free-spirited teenager attempts to get back in touch with his overly conservative parents after returning home from years away at a boarding school.


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27 September 2018 | casarino
| A Charming Disaster.
There is a really sweet, gently funny teen comedy buried Morgan Stewart's Coming Home. But it all falls apart when it becomes kind of a weird political thriller. It's little surprise the director successfully petitioned to have his name replaced with Alan Smithee.

It's got a great hook - nerdy but rebellious kid who keys getting kicked out of boarding schools goes home so he and his parents can appear to be a loving family, as his dad is a politician. It's got good casting, great chemistry between Cryer and Viveka Davis, and some fun, offbeat writing (Davis' parents are horror movie buffs). And there's nice conflict as Cryer tries to convince his stuffy, overbearing mother to allow him to fly his freak flag while they try to get him to straighten up and fly right.

So what do they do? They scuttle this movie by throwing in an espionage thriller bit, adding dumb violence and even dumber plotting (if you are surprised by the revelation of the bad guy, hey, welcome to your first movie). It's a lazy, unnecessary way to resolve things.

It's not like this was a perfect movie to begin with, but Cryer makes Stewart equally geeky and rebellious - an interesting take on the Matthew Broderick WarGames character. The script does him few favors, but Cryer somehow make it work. Davis has less to work with - she's a Manic Picture Dream Girl, essentially - but she gives Emily a fearless enthusiasm that's hard to resist. And Redgrave is excellent, and funny, as Morgan's cold, calculating mother.

But man, does the movie turn dumb. Oh, well.

Weirdly enough, if you told me this movie was directed by the same Alan Smithee who have us the similarly troubled The Shrimp in the Barbie, I'd believe you. Same kind of movie.

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