Uncle Buck is fun for the whole family. Even if they sometimes embarrass you. Although John Hughes is mostly known for directing teen movies, Planes, Trains and Automobiles marked a shift in his career. Leading to another collaboration with John Candy at the end of the 80’s. I wish I’d seen Uncle Buck sooner, because it’s just as hilarious. Like most great Hughes films, the Russell family is from Chicago. When the parents look after a sick relative, they reluctantly call Uncle Buck. A good premise that’s more suited for a movie than TV.
Buck Russell is a slob who drinks, smokes cigars, gambles, and doesn’t have a job. He also takes his girlfriend Chanice for granted and drives a crappy car. Yet he’s always charming and means well. Even though a who’s who of famous actors were considered, John Candy is too perfect in the part. The Russell kids all make an impression too. Jean Louisa Kelly makes her film debut as the seriously rebellious teenager Tia. Most of Buck’s time is spent trying to win her over and humorously scaring her boyfriend Bug. The other kids are played by a young Gaby Hoffmann and Macaulay Culkin in the role that ensured his success as a child actor.
Miles is just as precocious as Culkin’s later roles and Maizy is a silly heart with just as many stand out scenes. I personally couldn’t stop laughing at Miles’ interrogation of Uncle Buck. You know Buck’s changed when he makes giant pancakes for Miles’ birthday, puts Maizy’s mean mole faced assistant principal in her place, and rescues Tia from her cheating boyfriend. Although Laurie Metcalf plays a desperate neighbor, Buck manages to repair his relationship as well. Uncle Buck is rough around the edges, but easy to love.