Richie Rich's Christmas Wish (1998)

David Gallagher in Richie Rich's Christmas Wish (1998)

Sulkin' without Culkin

It's sometimes painful to face the truth but here goes, when Macaulay Culkin was young he had something about him which worked, he may have come across as annoyingly precocious but he still had something. If you don't believe me watch any of the "Home Alone" movies which didn't star him or worse watch "Richie Rich's Christmas Wish" the direct to video sequel to "Richie Rich". Now "Richie Rich" wasn't a very good movie to start with but without Macaulay Culkin or any of the actors from the first movie this sequel is almost unwatchable. Or to put that into context, young children who've never seen "Richie Rich" might find it an entertaining Christmas movie but for anyone else it is poor.

It's Christmas Time and Richie Rich (David Gallagher) finds his fun in the snow curtailed by his responsibilities and the fact his parents are holding a dinner party for the Van Dough's and their spoilt brat Reggie (Jake Richardson). When Reggie uses a universal remote he takes control of the sleigh which Richie and butler Cadbury (Keene Curtis) are riding in to deliver presents to the orphans, things go disastrously wrong and thanks to Reggie Richie is getting the blame for the chaos. Fed up Richie wishes he had never been born whilst sitting in front of Professor Keanbean's (Eugene Levy - Multiplicity) wishing machine and before he knows it he is in a parallel universe where he doesn't exist and Reggie is the richest boy in the country.

Eugene Levy in Richie Rich's Christmas Wish (1998)

Putting my neck on the line here I will say that the storyline to "Richie Rich's Christmas Wish" could have worked with Richie learning to appreciate things by experiencing what life is like with out him in it. But instead of delivering some moral basis for this Christmas comedy all we get is stupid humour as Richie ends up becoming a wanted boy in the parallel universe trying to find Professor Keanbean to get him back. In fairness if I was a 7 year old I might find all of this entertaining but anyone else who watches this will be left wishing it was over as it delivers one silly gag after another and a cheesy ending which copies "It's a Wonderful Life".

What is for certain is that after watching "Richie Rich's Christmas Wish" you realise that Macaulay Culkin had something special. So whilst David Gallagher does his best as Richie he just isn't right. In truth Gallagher is not the only replacement which struggles with Eugene Levy looking embarrassed as Professor Keanbean whilst Keene Curtis equally looks uncomfortable as Cadbury.

What this all boils down to is that if I was a 7 year old who had never seen a Macaulay Culkin movie before then "Richie Rich's Christmas Wish" might just entertain. But as I am not this movie is painful and makes you realise that no matter how annoying he seemed as a young child star Macaulay Culkin had something special about him.

Tags: Christmas Movies