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SNOW DAY

SYNOPSIS:
Every school-kid longs for a snow day. For ten-year-old Natalie Brandston (Zena Grey), the wait for this day of no classes and unlimited potential is especially frustrating. The reports from her weatherman father (Chevy Chase) aren’t promising. So what’s the best possible way to spend a snow day when one finally arrives? Do whatever you can to ensure a second one, of course. This means that Natalie and friends must thwart the evil intentions of the sinister Snowplow Man (Chris Elliot). Meanwhile, Natalie’s teenage brother, Hal, reckons it’s the perfect opportunity to make himself known to his dreamgirl, Clair (Emmanuelle Chriqui). She doesn’t know he exists, but Hal is convinced that fate is on his side.

"Family films don't come much flatter than this sorry affair which begins at rock bottom and goes downhill from there. In a sad reflection of his declining career fortunes poor Chevy Chase looks positively mournful trudging through his role as a serious meteorologist forced to wear goofy weatherman outfits in an attempt to boost his TV station's ratings. Chase doesn't even look like he's trying but at least has his pain eased by scoring a few scenes with Pam Grier who plays his boss and is still a certified fox as she nudges 50. There's not much to laugh at or be moved by as the allegedly heartwarming activities of the all-American Brandston family unfold on the kind of day where, as we are told ad nauseum, "anything can happen". There are any number of reasons for this, with the painfully unfunny screenplay Will McRobb and Chris Viscardi and Chris Koch's lumbering direction the main culprits. These guys don't know where to start a joke, let alone finish it and they ought to be given a ticket for running gag violation by making the fat kid who farts the butt (pun intended) of so many jokes. Some appallingly mismatched lighting which intercuts characters in bright sunlight with others under gloomy grey skies doesn't help either. Apart from an amusing but too brief appearance by Iggy Pop as an ice rink proprietor with a liking for Al Martino songs, this Snow Day is unfortunately a day where nothing of interest happens. Without the cultural cache of snow day having any relevance for Australian cinema goers, it's hard to imagine an audience for this turkey which commits the worst sin of all by being very, very boring."
Richard Kuipers

"‘You never really know how a snow day is going to work out.’ These are the last words of the film. They’re wrong. We do know. And we did, pretty much right from the start. Now, even from Sydney town I can appreciate the childhood romance of growing up in a sometimes snowbound town. It’s a promising premise for a kidpic with a touch of wintry nostalgia. Snow far, snow good. Until we consider the script. A good idea cannot survive burial beneath a bed of cliches, and here they rain down harder than hail in a blizzard. The scenario of Fresh-Faced-Teenboy infatuated with Nubile Nymphette while ignoring the true love of his Freckle-Faced-Fem-Friend is trite territory even for a six-year-old target audience. A parallel ‘plot’ involving a ten-year-old Cutesy Pie versus Bogey Man – or in this case, Snowplow Man – can’t even be redeemed by the winning smile of Zena Grey. If Grey’s smile would melt a snowman’s heart, her nemesis has a smile that would panic a toothbrush into drowning itself in tubes of Mr Colgate’s finest. Sadly, tooth decay alone does not a convincing villain make, and Chris Elliot wouldn’t scare the lion from the Wizard of Oz. Three-quarters of the way through and I’m thinking there must be more, some unexpected twist to save this sudser from sinking entirely beneath the slush. Will Freckle Face turn out to be Snowplow Man’s long lost love child? Will Frosty the Snowman show up to kidnap Cutesy Pie? Will Chevy Chase (Teenboy’s weatherman father) deliver a genuinely funny line? Will it snow in Cairns tomorrow?"
Brad Green

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 2
Mixed: 0

TRAILER

SNOW DAY (G)
(US)

CAST: Chevy Chase, Mark Webber, Zena Grey, Pam Grier, Schuyler Fisk, John Schneider, Emmanuelle Chriqui

DIRECTOR: Chris Koch

PRODUCER: Albie Hecht, Julia Pistor

SCRIPT: Will McRobb, Chris Viscardi

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Robbie Greenberg

EDITOR: David Finfer

MUSIC: Steve Bartek

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Leslie McDonald

RUNNING TIME: 89 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: UIP

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: September 7, 2000 (Melb: Sept 14)

VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: Paramount Pictures

VIDEO RELEASE: March 23, 2001







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