Raising Waylon (2004) starring Thomas Gibson, Poppy Montgomery, Jeremy Bergman, Doris Roberts, Susan Brady directed by Sam Pillsbury Movie Review

Raising Waylon (2004)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Poppy Montgomery and Thomas Gibson in Raising Waylon (2004)

Choosing Parenthood

Reg (Thomas Gibson - The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas) and Julia (Poppy Montgomery - Lying to Be Perfect) never got on, they had one date when their friends set them up but it didn't work out but never the less when their friends asked them to be godparents to their son Waylon (Jeremy Bergman) they agreed. But 9 years later when Waylon's parents die in an accident Reg and Julia find themselves in the unusual situation of being Waylon's guardians, not easy when they don't see eye to eye on anything and have their own individual lives to lead. But things get even more complicated when a judge insists that they must move into the family home with Waylon for one month and be monitored by a social worker before she agrees to make their unusual guardianship official.

So "Raising Waylon" is another addition to the growing list of instant family movies, you know the sort where someone who isn't prepared for parenthood and finds themselves having to look after a child. What sets "Raising Waylon" apart is the amusing idea of two people who don't get on being forced to work together as the child's guardians. It means that whilst we get some typical humour about Reg and Julia being inept at being parents we get more focus on Reg and Julia being at each others throats whilst also having different ideas of parenting.

Jeremy Bergman and Doris Roberts in Raising Waylon (2004)

In fairness whilst "Raising Waylon" is pretty obvious it is also entertaining with a nicely written storyline which evolves the complexity. To start with we have the amusement of them trying to be guardians scheduling time with Waylon so they are not together leading to issues when Reg is late one day. But then it evolves when the judge insists they both live in the house with Waylon full time and things get more difficult. Of course it is obvious that along the way Reg and Julia will go from enemies to being close but the humour and road blocks along the way keep it fun.

Part of the why it works is that it is well cast; Thomas Gibson and Poppy Montgomery are really good as the odd couple, amusing when they are bickering and quite sweet in those softer moments together. But Jeremy Bergman is just as good as young Waylon and unlike many child stars down plays his part so he is never annoying but ever so slightly damaged by the loss of his parents and struggling with the new set up. Plus it is hard not to love Doris Roberts even in the small part of Great Aunt Marie.

What this all boils down to is that "Raising Waylon" ended up a pleasant surprise as whilst it is an obvious movie it is also a fun movie with some good writing and good performances which makes the obviousness less of an issue.

Tags: Instant Families