Mikey's got Talent
If you read Michael J. Fox's biography you learn that following the diagnosis of Parkinson's Disease back at the start of the 90s he took on a variety of movies to secure the financial future of his family. You have to think that "Life with Mikey" was one of those movies because whilst not a terrible movie it is also not a good one and is both cliche and throw away. Strip away all the storyline about a former child star running a talent agency and what you really have got is the familiar idea of a man who is forced to grow up when he finds himself responsible for a child. And so whilst there is some fun to what goes on during "Life with Mikey" you know that by the end not only will Mikey have grown fond of young Angie who he ends up looking after but at the same time he grows up and starts acting responsibly.
As a child Michael Chapman (Michael J. Fox - Doc Hollywood) was the star of his own TV show but now an adult he still trades on the shows popularity whilst running a talent agency with his brother. With clients leaving them left right and centre Mikey is desperate to find the next child star and when he meets pick pocket Angie Vega (Christina Vidal) he thinks he may have just found the next big thing. But he gets a lot more than he bargained for because Angie is no push over as she forces herself into his life, moving in with him and forcing him to grow up and act responsibly rather than trading on his past and behaving like an irresponsible kid.
"Life with Mikey" is very much a movie of two halves with the first half focussing on Mikey struggling with Angie who is full of attitude. From the moment he meets her, as she picks his pocket through to her going for an audition under his tutelage it is really all about them annoying each other. And being a children's movie it is obvious that Mikey comes off worse when it comes to what Angie wants. At the same time we have Angie turning his life upside down when she decides to move in with him and so we have this health conscious kid who out smarts Mikey who basically lives in a dump and eats out of date junk. All of which is amusing but not amazingly original.
All this leads to the second half of the movie where Mikey eventually grows up and starts acting responsibly, taking an interest in the business with his brother and doing the best for young Angie. And to be honest it is all very obvious, as obvious as the first half and you know as the minutes tick by we will have a happy ever after ending on the cards. It's still fun and the whole series of scenes built around egotistical child star Barry Corman being a pain in the bum adds plenty of amusement but there is barely a joke which hasn't been seen and done better in another movie.
What is for certain is that "Life with Mikey" is a movie which ends up entertaining because of Michael J. Fox's charm. From him living off his past glories as a child star through to his easy going life style where he flirts with the businesses receptionist it's all about Fox and his charm. It sort of works but sadly it's not enough to make the movie more than just amusingly average.
Even the rest of the cast fail to really add the spark it needs and whilst Christina Vidal as Angie Vega and David Krumholtz as Barry Corman are fun they are lacking something. But the biggest disappointment comes from the fact that "Life with Mikey" also stars Nathan Lane and Cyndi Lauper but sadly both talents are seriously wasted in parts just dieing to have some bigger laughs.
What this all boils down to is that "Life with Mikey" is amusing but only in a very average way. It all seems so very obvious from the jokes through to the story which sees a young man growing up when he finds himself looking after a child. The biggest annoyance is that whilst obvious it had all the pieces from a decent cast through to amusing characters to be both really funny and memorable but it seems to have been rushed out to try and capitalize on Fox's popularity at the start of the 90s.