Bogus (1996)

Were it better written and directed, this unaffecting fantasy might 
come across as something other than leftovers from a high-powered 
Hollywood lunch.  ("Let's get Whoopi!"  "Yeah, and pair her with... 
that Frenchman!")  There isn't much subtlety to this story of a 
little boy (Haley Joel Osment), his imaginary friend (Gerard 
Depardieu), and the grumpy guardian that the boy goes to live with 
(Whoopi Goldberg) after his mother is killed in a car accident.  
Spoon-feeding is the order of the day and director Norman Jewison 
(MOONSTRUCK) overstates nearly every emotion and related plot 
point.  (The incessant musical cues are also tough to take, though 
I didn't mind hearing Louis Prima's "Banana Split For My Baby" 
played during a soda-fountain fantasy sequence.)  Worst of all is 
Whoopi's characterization.  Instead of coming across as a lovable 
party poop, her self-absorbed actions suggest a level of negligence 
that might send a social worker screaming from the theater.  
Mercifully, the darkness is cursed by two luminaries.  The kid, 
Osment, is a natural and that Frenchman, with his loopy smile and 
bulbous nose, is an imaginary giant for all ages. (Rated "PG"/111 

Grade: C

Copyright 1996 by Michael J. Legeros

Originally posted to triangle.movies in MOVIE HELL: September 2, 1996

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