Film Scouts Reviews


by Karen Jaehne

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Have you noticed how many orphans there are in movies lately?

"Bogus" is about an orphaned boy sent off to be adopted by Whoopie Goldberg. But her maternal instincts were canned somewhere on the way to superstardom. Somehow there's no prospect of deep affection, even with the kid's invisible friend "Bogus" hanging out giving wise advice from the sidelines.

Gerard Depardieu is just too in the room to make it as an "imaginary friend." Given the irresistible twinkle in his eye, he surely hangs out in lots of people's imaginations - without, however, yielding family fare.)

The essential problem with the movie is this orphan business. The story never escapes its essential sadness, because it gives us a healthy prologue full of the boy's charming, wonderful, warm mom - a circus performer with a magic act in Vegas. The movie takes forever to get back on its feet after she gets killed. The film tries to compensate with imaginative magical sequences, but these are more about special effects than about a child's emotional life.

This bittersweet little romp through the never-never land of a child's adjustment to life without Mommy has the problem that any nice little film has when it is overwhelmed by two mammoth stars. The most entertaining moment in it is supposed to be a show-stopping number with Whoopie playing Ginger to Depardieu's Fred - which has little or nothing to do with the story and is definitely more bogus than it should be.

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