Reviews: On Our Own

Okay if not a bit underwhelming

First of all, don't trust the "for families" label on the VCR (which I assume is how you're watching this movie.) While it's not inappropriate for kids, it's still on the slow side in terms of pacing. Only a kid with a lot of patience would sit through a film like this.

It starts off very cliche-sad. The kids' mom dies and they're going to be separated, and the foster care system clearly doesn't give a damn about any of them. All four of them, plus their dog, steal back their mom's car and run away with about four dollars while these two dumb cops, who only show up for the beginning and end of the movie, try to locate them.

Did I mention how slow this movie is? It's very slow. VERY slow. In a way, it's refreshing from the current movies that are IN YOUR FACE and fast, but in another way they needed to make the pacing better. The only good reason for the scenes to drag is to show how children would realistically fare in running away. It's not very believable, but it doesn't get over-the-top except when it's SUPPOSED to be ridiculous (a kid driving a bus? And not crashing or anything?)

When the movie isn't trying too hard to be heartwarming or funny, it manages to be a gritty and sadly realistic look on families and how they can't always stay together. This makes the happy ending -that you could see from literally miles away- much more bearable.

Other than pacing, the only other problem with this movie is how little it develops the other characters. The oldest son and daughter in the movie have a surprising amount of character, but the rest of them -the woman, the uncle, the cops, etc... don't have much character to them. Also, the "chemistry" between the woman and the uncle isn't there -which makes the ending (which I'm not going to spoil but you can probably figure out anyway) a little sappy. But again, it is nice that the kids don't end up separated and in bad homes -you WANT them to be happy by the end after all the crap they had to go through in the beginning.

Just a couple small things; the 80s clothes/hair make the movie more interesting, but the repeated song about the kids being "on our own" gets grating. Trivia: According to the credits it was sung by an all-boys chorus.

So I recommend you watch it at least once if you have some hours to kill.