And You Thought Your Parents Were Weird!

  • Review Date: February 1, 2012
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 1991
  • Running Time: 92 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Dated robot comedy set against a backdrop of suicide.
  • Review Date: February 1, 2012
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 1991
  • Running Time: 92 minutes

Age(i)

2
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5
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8
9
10
11
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15
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

There are some positive messages about the importance of family and sticking together, but the message gets muddled against the background of a father's suicide.

Positive role models

Young Josh works hard to invent Newman the Robot and is remarkably gifted with computers and robotics. He helps his classmates learn about computers and is generally kind to his younger brother Max. The robot/dad is mostly funny and helpful, but sometimes seems a bit creepy.

Violence

The father of the family is thought to be dead due to suicide. Some comic pratfalls as the robot punches one of the bad guys in the crotch and proceeds to trip another character onto a wheeled cart that sends him knocking into bowling balls, which sends a bowling ball falling from the highest shelf above him. Bullying is implied at school from the son of the bad guy of the film, and eventually they get into a fight.

Sex

Brief kissing between teen Josh and his girlfriend. Sexual implications when Sarah leads Newman (the robot) into the bedroom. Some silly innuendo from the robot ("you can tighten my screws anytime" and "I think I'm overheating!).

Language

A young boy asks, "Where the hell have you been?" 

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

One of the bad guys smokes a cigarette while working in his storage shop. 

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this dated comedy about a robot come to life concerns a family dealing with the aftermath of a father's presumed suicide. Despite this serious topic, the movie takes a silly approach to the family's concern for the dad. Full of goofy pratfalls and some mild innuendo, this is a film kids can easily skip, unless they want to laugh at the outdated computer equipment and old-fashioned clothing.

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What's the story?

Josh (Joshua John Miller), with the help of his little brother Max (Edan Gross), creates a moving and talking robot named Newman out of a wet vac, a desk lamp, and a colander. While attending a Halloween party thrown by his girlfriend, Max plays with a Ouija-style board, which brings back his father (Alan Thicke), who was believed to have committed suicide. Max's father possesses Newman, cracking jokes and working his way back into the hearts of his children and his wife (Marcia Strassman). Together, they must fight nosy reporters and unethical patent thieves.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

While '80s kids might enjoy the kitsch factor of Alan Thicke from Growing Pains playing a wise-cracking robot, AND YOU THOUGHT YOUR PARENTS WERE WEIRD! hasn't exactly aged well since its 1991 release. The big hair, the big phones, and big computers scream "early nineties." The robot Newman, Macguyvered out of spare parts from the garage, will surely test the credulity of more sophisticated and skeptical kids. 

As a simple and lighthearted family comedy, perhaps this would be enjoyable enough on its own, but its attempts at bringing suicide into the story are poorly handled at best, and at worst, border on offensive to those who are or have experienced this tragedy. 

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how families cope with suicide. How accurately does the film reflect a mother and two sons living in the aftermath of this tragedy? How do you feel about this topic as part of a comedy?

  • Contrast the technology of that time with the technology of today. What looks the same and what's different?

  • Where does this film draw its humor from? What makes the movie feel outdated? What are some characteristics of movies that stand the test of time"

Movie details

Theatrical release date:November 15, 1991
DVD release date:January 1, 1998
Cast:Alan Thicke, Joshua John Miller, Marcia Strassman
Director:Tony Cookson
Studio:Vidmark, Inc.
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Robots
Run time:92 minutes
MPAA rating:PG

This review of And You Thought Your Parents Were Weird! was written by

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

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  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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