3 February 1999 | Goon-2
Lively family fare
"Just Like Dad" is one of those movies that was not made for the purpose of being the next "Gone With the Wind", but rather it was made to provide its audience with a decent, entertaining story, and it does a pretty good job of that. In the film: a twelve-year-old kid who is ashamed of his wimpy father(Wallace Shawn), meets and befriends a kindly man who happens to be somewhat handsome and very athletic, and somehow he convinces this man to pretend to be his father at a school picnic. After this works quite well, the boy's scheme deepens, and of course he runs into some trouble along the way and this makes him learn that there is nobody he would rather be like than his dad. It's a simple story, that has some entertaining comedic moments on the side, such as the boys "stand-in" father out-smarting some bullies. It also features tender performances by Shawn, director Nick Cassavettes, as the "stand-in" father, Ben Diskin(?)as the boy, and Jarrett Lennon as his friend. An odd sub-plot involving computers somewhat lessons the story, and a few of the scenes between Shawn and Diskin are a little bit too melodramatic, but all in all, it's not a bad movie. It tends to pop up on the Disney channel, and should be given at least one viewing.