Fly Away Home

Bomb Rating: 

Anyone older than eight years of age who wanders into this film should view the title as good advice.

When I was eight or so, I went to a golfing camp because my motherthreatened to bury a 4-iron in my head if I didn't get away from her for at least one summer. Anyway, during the camp, one of the kids topped a shot and sent a ball screaming across the fairway smack into the head of a goose. The impact sounded like an egg being dropped onto cement, and the goose collapsed onto the ground like a fresh Christmas roast. We figured it was dead. A few minutes later, much to our surprise, the goose got up and walked away like an overcome parishioner at a Billy Graham revival, still fully functional after the crushing blow to the skull. From that point on, I was convinced geese were the stupidest animals in the world.

So you can imagine my thrill at the prospect of watching Anna Paquin teach a bunch of geese how to fly south. Like another heartwarming children's film, "Bogus," this movie uses the uplifting scenario of a mother being mangled in a car wreck to provide character conflict. Amy (Paquin) has to go live with Dad (Jeff Daniels) in Canada and -- surprise! -- they don't get along. Thank goodness there are some abandoned goose eggs laying around to solve everybody's problems. Amy hatches some cute geese and everyone one "oohs" and "aahs" as they waddle around. Then the bad wildlife officer comes to try and cut their wings off.

Amy and Dad must teach the geese to fly south because the thick-headed creatures are convinced that Amy is their mother. Thank goodness that -- surprise! -- Dad just happens to be an amateur pilot and plane-builder. Given the fact that Paquin's ego is the size of a small country after winning an Academy Award for "The Piano," I was surprised it didn't take a couple of B-52's to yank her scrawny butt off Mother Earth.

Anyone older than eight years of age who wanders into this film should view the title as good advice. Sitting in a theater with kids going "mommy look, look," mommies going "shut up," and dirty old men grunting and uttering "mommy" every time Anna Paquin wanders onscreen doesn't make for the greatest film-going experience.

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