It’s Christmas in May! I am glad the CW hit show Everybody Hates Chris was around when Unaccompanied Minors released in December, 2006. I might not have cared about watching this film. On second thought, I might have gotten around to it as a DVD must-watch. Tyler James Williams was crushing it as the young Chris Rock on the show as we got a peek at the comedian’s upbringing. That show delivered all the comedic goods. I was excited when this film had commercials on television as I caught a glimpse of Williams. I knew this was a film worth watching.
I learned something new as well. Unaccompanied Minors is an actual thing that exists.
In airline policy, an unaccompanied minor is typically an airline passenger aged between 5 and 14 years old (airline regulations vary) who travels without an accompanying adult. A parent or guardian who requests for this service fills out a release form, identifying another guardian who will pick up the minor at the destination airport. Airline personnel are responsible for escorting the child through immigration and customs and boarding the flight in time. A fee may be payable for this service.
We meet Spencer Davenport (Dyllan Christopher) traveling with his sister from California to Pennsylvania to visit their dad. Their mother, played by the stunning Community and Criminal Minds alum Paget Brewster, is worried about them but is cautiously optimistic. A blizzard grounds all aircraft, and the kids are stuck in the airport until it passes. The kids have to spend time in UM’s room where it feels like a prison or like the scene in Toy Story 3 where the toys meet the unruly kids who drank too much red bull. They meet Grace Conrad (Gia Mantegna) a high-strung smarty pants Charlie Goldfinch (Williams), ill-tempered tomboy Donna Malone, (Quinn Shepard), and mysterious Beef Wellington (Brett Kelly from Bad Santa).
The kids decide to ditch the babysitters’ room and have fun. They get caught and escorted back to the room. The only problem is that the rest of the kids went to better lodging and Spencer’s sister was among them. They must track her down and find a present for her she wished with all her heart. It looks like these misfits have to band together and conjure up a Christmas miracle complete with perilous and hilarious hijinks. There is also an amazing song by Simple Plan, the rock band from my childhood. Lewis Black knocks it out of the park. He has some amazing comedic chops and can freak the freak out like an expert and have sincere moments I was blown away by.
The story of a bunch of people from different walks of life who have to break through the veil of awkwardness and differences to find common ground never gets old. I like seeing different personalities mesh together and seeing them in an environment way over their heads. I think you guys and gals can think of films, books, and TV shows that fit the bill. Dyllan Christopher has Jesse Eisenberg vibes I enjoyed from Zombieland, making him an effective leading man. Some amazing actors make this film work like BJ Novak, Wilmer Valderamma, and Rob Corddry.
It’s a wonderful tale for the holiday season that showcases the power of friendships, family, and charity. I like stories like these. It didn’t do too well at the box office, but usually, films like those tend to be the most underrated gems of all.