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Overall Rating

Awesome: 10.26%
Worth A Look: 2.56%
Just Average: 35.9%
Pretty Crappy41.03%
Sucks: 10.26%

4 reviews, 15 user ratings

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Snow Day
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by Greg Muskewitz

"It's a flake."
2 stars

The quality of the movie Snow Day says it all in the production company: a Nickelodeon feature. And it also says something about the audience it’s targeted for. The poor kids whom this movie is aimed at are too young to discern the mediocre flake from the additional lack of appropriate entertainment (Toy Story 2, Stuart Little meet standards, but don’t surpass) and have been brainwashed by the platitudinous of usual dreck that they see on TV. Just because it’s a Nickelodeon movie doesn’t warrant that it will be a good kid flick –just look at MTV Films. With the minor exception of Election (which ironically did not hit it off too well with the teens) look at the low-brow, superficial teen fare like Varsity Blues or Dead Man on Campus; Nickelodeon’s Doug the 1st Movie doesn’t stand very far out from their other drivel like Good Burger. (Their rare exception being Harriet the Spy, and I myself did not see Rugrats: The Movie.)

Everything about Snow Day feels false and phony –how else otherwise would Chris Elliott be in it? The Syracuse-based movie mostly centers on the Brandston family. The father Tom (Chevy Chase) is an unhappy weatherman forced to report in snowman suits and grass skirts as he works in the shadow of the high-tech weatherman from another channel. His wife (Jean Smart) is a business woman, who it’s made clear that, cannot make it to dinner on time. (Chase bets her a dollar that she cannot answer her cellphone during dinner, but why risk losing a lump sum of money over a buck?) Their pubescent son Hal (Mark Weber) is smitten for the hottest girl in school (Emmanuelle Chriqui) who has just broken up with her boyfriend. But it’s one of those “he-doesn’t-see-what’s-right-in-his-face” things as he suffers from the Oblivious To His Best Friend’s Attraction/Affection For Him Syndrome. Inevitably it’s just the same old geek who falls in love with the hottest girl, but ends up turning her down for his more plain best friend (Schuyler Fisk –daughter of Sissy Spacek and production designer Jack Fisk, but looks more like Meryl Streep), who even after she kisses him, the doofus still has to think about it. And then of course there’s Zena Grey (satisfactory sub for Michelle Trachtenberg) as Natalie, the young daughter who suffers from delusions of seeing action figures talk to her in some of the most inept personification in cinema recently. She makes it her task (after hokily wishing on a snow globe for it to snow…and it does) with the assistance of her friends to stop the snow plow man (Elliott) from preventing a second snow day in a row –something he’s infamous for doing.

What the story consists of is a bunch of asinine yarn, which in one way or another is the set up for one cheap gag after another. The gags are all warn (mostly flatulence jokes and soundbites) but like in Outside Providence, the first time Alec Baldwin calls his son Shawn Hatosy “Dildo,” it’s funny. Laughter ensues the next time and the time after that, but after it’s repeated numerous times, it loses its impact. Snow Day doesn’t start off all that funny, so it doesn’t take much before it ceases to be funny and has lost all impact. You might as well call Snow Day desensitizing, because what it does is it further buries the audience in huge billows of stupidity of which didn’t even take the time to disguise. Nowadays, childrens’ attention spans have been reduced to that of a 30-second time spot in which commercials run. It’s really a sad reality (and extremely frustrating as well) when children don’t have the control and attention span to sit through something as morally rewarding or adept as The Straight Story or A Dog of Flanders.

Snow Day reeks with amaturity, as it seeps out of most all crevices in this production. The majority of the performers are either making their motion picture debut (would one really consider this a motion picture?) or are relatively new to the screen. Veteran Chase looks lost, as if he himself isn’t quite sure how he ended up in something of this caliber. (Chevy, it was those National Lampoon’s movies, really!) Take Midnight Run for example; it had DeNiro and Chase both in equally funny roles performed by equally capable actors. Chase is capable, but he lacks both the powerful chops of DeNiro, but also the ability to discern between good and bad scripts. DeNiro aptly handled the comedic schtick in Analyze This last spring, so it’s pretty clear to me that Chase needs to fire his agent and desperately replace him/her (or in Hollywood –it) before we end up with National Lampoon’s Grumpiest Old Men co-starring Dan Ackroyd.

It comes as no surprise that the writers, Will McRobb and Chris Viscardi, have done nothing hitherto. This is a prime example of why we (or maybe just I) so welcomely embrace such audacious directors as Paul Thomas Anderson, Darren Arronofsky, Michael Polish, Todd Solondz, Tony Bui, or Neil LaBute (just to mention a few). They channel something special, something vivacious which breathes a strong life into their films, something lacking from this. (I know; what can and do you expect from a kid’s movie, right? But if you set your standards so low, this is the garbage you get left with –there it better out there!) Snow Day’s director Chris Koch has directed a few TV show episodes for Nickelodeon. Big whoop. Koch gives reason for studios not to take risks by using or debuting new directors. When the picture comes off as cardboard and spiritless as this, the blame is shouldered onto the director. And with so many duds like Snow Day, it’s enough to make a studio want to raise the dead.

Final Verdict: D+

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=1771&reviewer=172
originally posted: 02/18/00 23:54:29
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User Comments

3/07/08 Pamela White just for kids 3 stars
1/14/04 Samuel not funny at all 2 stars
7/06/03 Jack Sommersby Fairly harmless, but even more forgettable. 2 stars
4/03/02 Priscilla Postlethwaite The kind of lame tripe that sadly is about all Chevy Chase cets cast in anymore. 2 stars
12/05/01 saz svsd 5 stars
8/13/01 hilary good 3 stars
6/13/01 *~Danielle*Ophelia~* (formerly KyLe*BrOfLoVsKi) Snow Days were great, but they hardly warrant a movie... 1 stars
3/28/01 Andrew Carden This is a horrible movie, avoid at all risks, Chevy Chase is too old to act! 1 stars
12/14/00 David Snyder Word to Craig! the movie rocks.It prooves the point that anything can happen on a snow day. 5 stars
11/09/00 Craig Givens I dream that my fate weet Penise is going up and down in Schuyler Fisk Vigina She's se xy 5 stars
10/18/00 The Bomb 69 enjoyable 4 stars
9/03/00 The Extreaminizer Worse than Rugrats...However, Chevy Chase stands out, Pam Grier and Chris Elliot are wasted 1 stars
3/20/00 Crunch who couldn't relate to this as a child? ME!!!! 1 stars
3/18/00 Lame-Oh Somebody shoot Chevy, for Christ's sake! 2 stars
2/26/00 Melanie Who could not relate to this movie as a child!! 5 stars
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  11-Feb-2000 (PG)
  DVD: 03-Oct-2000


  07-Sep-2000 (PG)

Directed by
  Chris Koch

Written by
  Will McRobb
  Chris Vacardi

  Chevy Chase
  Pam Grier
  John Schneider
  Mark Webber
  Zena Grey
  Chris Elliot

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