Film: The Kid (2000)

So, I'm forty, I'm not married, I don't fly jets, and I don't have a dog? I grow up to be a loser!

Disney’s The Kid is a 2000 film starring Bruce Willis, Emily Mortimer, and Spencer Breslin.

40-year-old Russ Duritz is a successful image consultant with a variety of clients ranging from TV personalities, to famous athletes to government officials. He has a nice car, a large house, everything you could ask for…except a life. He’s also a bit of a jerk.

One day he finds a kid who somehow got into his house and makes a startling discovery. This kid is Rusty Duritz, himself at age 8. Now he has to figure out what to do with…himself while starting to remember a few things that he had forgotten about himself.

Not to be confused with The Kid (1921), which stars Charlie Chaplin.

This film contains examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Russ's dad is revealed to have been verbally abusive, to the point that young Rusty was afraid to tell him that he found a screw he lost because he was afraid of invoking his wrath. Also that his father grabbed him, shook him, and harshly accused him of killing his mother after getting into a fight in school, and that this episode alone (never mind being raised by this man after his mother died) caused Rusty to suppress his emotions and become an emotionally crippled adult because he harshly told him never to cry.
  • Anger Born of Worry: Russ explains to young Rusty that his father yelled at him and told him he was killing his mother not because he really believes it, but because he was just scared—scared for his wife, scared of raising him alone—and that he's expressing it badly.
  • Boxing Lesson: In an effort to toughen himself against bullies, Russ gets his boxer friend to teach Rusty. After the boxer learns it's for bullies he says "He doesn't need boxing, he needs to learn street fighting."
  • Brick Joke: When Rusty sees a large orange moon, he becomes very excited and wonders what makes it turn that color. At the very end, right before the credits start rolling, it explains why the moon sometimes appears orange.
  • Character Tic: Russ's eye twitch. The result of his dad harshly telling him to stop crying and rubbing the tears off his eyes too hard when he won't stop crying.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Most of the characters have their moments, but Janet especially stands out.
  • Deceased Parents Are the Best: Russ's mother died when he was a kid, and by all accounts she was an angel in the house, while his father... wasn't.
  • Demoted to Extra: Jeri Ryan originally had a supporting role in this film as one of Russ' clients, and there would have been a minor Romantic Plot Tumor later in the film involving her character, where she starts hitting on Russ, and making Amy jealous. In the final cut however, Ryan's role was obliterated completely, and now she only has a small cameo on Russ' television being interviewed.
  • Everyone Can See It: Russ and Amy.
  • Fat Idiot: Rusty, at least to Russ' view.
  • Future Me Scares Me: Rusty is very disappointed by what Russ has become.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: When she thinks Rusty is Russ' son and she speculates about his mother, Amy concludes with "not that I care who — or what — you do!"
  • Help Yourself in the Future: Seems to be why Rusty is there. Then it turns out that they’re both being helped by Russ from thirty years in the future.
    • Like his psychiatrist said, Russ is having these "hallucinations" for a reason.
  • I Hate Past Me: Russ can't stand Rusty's presence because it reminds him of things he doesn't want to remember.
  • Jacob Marley Warning: Inverted as the Marley is actually the main character.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Russ, eventually.
  • Like an Old Married Couple: Amy's and Russ's frequent bickering is more reminiscent of a married couple than mere coworkers.
  • Love Epiphany: When Russ realizes he's been paying a lot more attention to Amy than he realized.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Amy has the personality and the dynamic with Russ, but the trope is subverted in that Russ staunchly resists all her attempts to bring out "the kid" in him, and almost drives her away forever when she finally has enough of his relentless jerkassitude. Ultimately, Russ has to deal with his own emotional issues (via Rusty) and become open to love and life on his own before they can be together.
  • Married in the Future: Russ and Amy
  • Our Time Travel Is Different: It…never actually says how it happens. Old Russ just seems to will it.
  • Playground Song: At one point Rusty keeps singing "John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt".
  • Precocious Crush: Rusty for Amy. Played with in that he wants her to get together with Russ, his future self, who is closer to her age.
  • Pursue the Dream Job: “We grow up to be pilots!”
  • Reality Ensues: Rusty is able to beat the bullies and save the three-legged dog, Tripod, from a cruel fate. Cue cheering and Awesome Music. Not so fast. Not only is Rusty hauled into the principal's office; once he gets home, his father, quite cruelly, tells him that his mother is dying and accuses Rusty of trying to kill her faster.
  • Running Gag: Russ and Rusty keep having to go to the bathroom at the same time.
  • Sassy Secretary: Janet
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend: Russ in regards to Amy. No one is fooled.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Rusty had a best friend until he joined some bullies. After the fight, the former friend starts picking on Rusty until high school graduation.
  • You Keep Using That Word: When she thinks Rusty is Russ' son, Amy accuses him of being a deadbeat dad who has visitation rights. Deadbeat dads (absentee fathers who don't pay child support) aren't exactly in a position to exercise visitation rights. Justified by the fact that Amy isn't exactly calm at the time.