- Movie Rating -

Just You and Me, Kid (1979)

| July 13, 1979

Peering through the murky, silly and woefully underwritten screenplay for Just You and Me, Kid, it is possible to actually sit and enjoy the movie if you just focus on the laid-back comic energy of George Burns.  He’s such a joy, a charming elder stateman of comedy who was afforded a fourth stage to his career after a successful run in vaudeville, radio and then on television.  In the 70s, he became a welcomed showbiz institution and made himself a movie star with Oh, God, Going in Style and then an Oscar for The Sunshine Boys.

Very often, however, his charm outweighed the material and that’s the case with Just You and Me, Kid, a treacly comedy in which Burns plays Bill Grant, a spunky old vaudevillian who pleases himself by waking up, not to an alarm clock, but to the sound of applause (I might have to try that).  Everyone loves him.  He’s friendly with everyone, and all the world is a stage, even if that world now only extends down to the local grocery store.

The opening scenes introduce us to Bill’s little world and his daily routine.  But then the story gets all complicated (and, at times, uncomfortable) when he meets Kate (Brooke Shields) a kid from the streets who is running from a drug dealing punk named Demesta (William Russ).  One morning she climbs out the window and runs away, hiding from her prey in the trunk of Bill’s car.  Desperate, she tells him that she’ll tell the cops that he molested her if he doesn’t help her hide.

Well, Bill concedes because he’s lonely.  But there are various people who don’t approve, most vocally his daughter (Loraine Gary) who calls the cops when she hears that he might be hiding a minor in his house.  Gary adds none of the charm to this film that she did to the housewife in Jaws, just a busy fuss-budget that would rather her father just sit down then do anything.

Actually Brooke Shields and George Burns are quite good together.  He’s charming and she’s cute and they do have chemistry together.  But too much of the humor of the film is overstuffed with jokes about how old men only want to bed down with young girls and its really kind of uncomfortable.  Added to that are a gaggle of unfunny and unfocused supporting players who add nothing to the proceedings.  This is a movie that might have benefitted from just being a movie about Bill and Kate getting to know one another, not in a nasty way, but in the way of just letting them talk.  That could have been a great movie.

About the Author:

Jerry Roberts is a film critic and operator of two websites, Armchair Cinema and Armchair Oscars.
(1979) View IMDB Filed in: Uncategorized