Review of 'Uncle Buck'

uncle_buck.jpg Parents Bob (Garret M. Brown) and Cindy Russel (Elaine Bromka) have to make an unexpected trip to Indianapolis where Cindy's father has suffered a heart attack. Unable to find anyone in their neighbourhood to look after their children they reluctantly call Bob's younger brother Buck (John Candy), a quirky and fun-loving but down on his luck guy with too much of an irresponsible lifestyle for Cindy. The bachelor Buck is quickly in over his head looking after the 16-year-old rebellious teenager Tia (Jean Louisa Kelly), as well as the cute but remarkably cheeky younger siblings eight-year-old Miles (Macaulay Culkin) and six-year-old Maizy Russell (Gaby Hoffman). The younger children are fascinated by the inept child-rearing of Buck and quickly grow to adore him while Tia deeply resents his actions (including his rather loud, and ramshackle, car). Will Buck be able to win over Tia and keep the children safe until the parents return…

This is a charming film featuring the best of John Candy as the lovable though inept uncle whose best intentions seem to land him in trouble. There are some fun scenes of his antics but here the main story is his relationship with the teenage Tia who does everything she can to rid herself of not only Buck but the inattention of her mother in a typically rebellious way. It might not be Oscar material but it is a lot of fun and “Uncle Buck” has a real heart to it with the finale bringing some real emotional kudos to the screen. Candy is fun to watch and here he is top form. Macaulay Culkin is great perhaps here being a bit more of a fun character rather than the cocky, smart-ass child monster we would see in his later “Home Alone” series.

A typical late-80s feelgood film with a lot of humour but also a good heart even in today's politically-correct climate “Uncle Buck” still entertains.

Rating: “Nearly perfect, but not quite”

Review Date: 2019-09-15

Directed by: John Hughes

Studio: Universal Pictures

Year: 1989

Length: 100 minutes

Genre: Comedy

Other reviewed films by John Hughes: