Picks and Pans Review: Curly Sue

updated 11/11/1991 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/11/1991 AT 01:00 AM EST

James Belushi, Alisan Porter

What do you get when you cross Annie with Paper Moon, Baby Boom and My Man Godfrey? A large wet mess by John Hughes, creator of the hugely successful Home Alone.

James Belushi and Alisan Porter are Bill and Curly Sue Dancer, vagrants who rely on the misplaced kindness of strangers for their daily bread. Latest target: Grey Ellison (Kelly Lynch), a yuppie lawyer who, tricked into believing she's run Bill down with her Mercedes, invites the Dancers to spend the night in her elegant apartment. And before you can sing "The sun'll come out tomorrow," the once-ambitious Grey is in the thrall of 9-year-old Curly Sue. Maybe it's the way Sue licks her fingers after a pizza dinner, or her break-the-sound-barrier burp. Or her fondness for declarations like "We'll freeze our nuts off" and "Slap my butt." And slap my butt if Lynch doesn't also fall for Belushi.

What is particularly offensive is Curly Sue's message: The well-to-do are joyless and soulless while the poor know how to enjoy life's simple pleasures: crashing weddings, riding garbage trucks and sneaking into movies. Belushi has little to do but look bruised, Lynch to look beautiful and change coats each scene. Porter is a most unappealing child actor, but she isn't helped by Hughes's sledgehammer direction or by a script whose many punches, kicks and whacks with sticks, telephones and closet doors make The Three Stooges look positively Shavian. (PG)

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