SNOW DAY

Though not as awful as it might have been, this Nickelodeon
Movies production is a slight, formulaic comedy of the sort
that one might expect to find on the kiddie cable channel.
It’s a junior-league John Hughes movie about the events that
befall the members of a Syracuse, New York family on the day
of a near-miraculous surprise blizzard which closes down
schools and businesses. Daughter Natalie (Zena Grey) and her
buddies Wayne (Josh Peck) and Chet (Jade Yorker) foil the
efforts of oddball snowplower Chris Elliott to sweep the
streets clean to allow school to reopen the next day; dad Tom
(Chevy Chase), an older-style TV weatherman, one-ups his hated
rival, slick Chad Symoonz (John Scheider); workaholic mom
Laura (Jean Smart), forced to remain at home, bonds with her
youngest child (Connor Matgeus); and older bro Hal (Mark
Webber), smitten with highschool beauty Claire (Emmanuelle
Chriqui), is threatened by her bullying ex-boyfriend (David
Paetkau), only to learn, in a truly Hughesian lesson, that his
real soulmate is his long-time pal, tomboyish Lane (Schuyler
Fisk).

There are occasional bright moments in the episodic script, but
they’re few and far between, and entirely too many flatulence
bits and clumsy slapstick are present for the picture to have
much appeal to anyone beyond the age of twelve or thirteen. It
has to be said, however, that the adolescent members of the
cast are generally winning and personable, and Chase and
Elliott don’t seem overly embarrassed at the indignities their
roles force upon them.

Natalie’s refrain throughout the movie is that “Anything can
happen on a snow day.” The unhappy truth, however, is that the
occurrences during this one prove just too pat and predictable
to afford any surprise or much amusement.