Annie's Summer with Grandpa
School's out for the summer and twelve-year-old Annie Lamm has big plans for lots of fun with her friends. Unfortunately her parents have decided they are going down to visit Grandpa (Paul Dooley) and Annie is going to stay with the old guy for a few weeks which isn't much fun as he has no TV, no computer and a pool where turtles George and Gracie live. But whilst Annie can only think about running away and getting back to the city as soon as possible she ends up finding spending time with her grandfather is not as bad as she thought. In fact she makes a whole host of new friends who come to her aid when her mother thinks it is time Grandpa went to live in a retirement home especially as his house is a wreck.
"Come Away Home" is the sort of movie which for those who watched it as young teens when it came out will probably spark warm, nostalgic memories when they come across it again many years later. They will remember the feel good factor it delivers of a teenager ends up spending a memorable summer with her grandfather meeting his friends, having adventures and basically bonding with the old guy. It is the sort of feeling I get when ever I revisit "On Golden Pond" as that was the movie growing up which charmed me and to be honest made me wish I could spend a summer with older relatives and learn from them.
As such I have to tell you that as an adult "Come Away Home" doesn't have the same appeal or charm that it might have had on a teen audience back in 2005. Part of the reason is that whilst we have specific events including Annie's mother wondering whether her father should move into a retirement home the movie in general, as Annie ends up warming to her Grandpa, is obvious. But this is also one of those movies which uses montages to an upbeat pop song, including clips of Annie clothes shopping, to inject some humour and energy which whilst maybe appealing for young teens ends up corny for grown ups.
But whilst some parts of "Come Away Home" don't work for me some parts do and Paul Dooley makes for a humorous grandfather figure who is a little absent minded. And Martin Mull makes for a good buddy for him as he also brings plenty of comedy to the movie. As for Jordan-Claire Green as Annie well to be frank there were times I found her annoying but I bet for a teen audience she will be perfect in the role.
What this all boils down to is that "Come Away Home" is an "On Golden Pond" like movie for a new generation and as such I reckon for those who were teens when this came out it probably has some sort of nostalgic charm.