Rich Kids (1979)

“They can do anything they want to do, can’t they? … We haven’t got one single lousy human right!”

Synopsis:
Jamie (Jeremy Levy) helps his new friend Franny (Trini Alvarado) adjust to the fact that her parents (John Lithgow and Kathryn Walker) are on the brink of divorce.

Genres:

Review:
I’m a sucker for well-made films about worldly children who are ultimately better suited for survival than their clueless parents — and fortunately, Robert M. Young’s delightful Rich Kids is just such a film. These plucky adolescents (who are, as one character puts it, “too old to play doctor and too young to do anything else”) must rely on their wits, the limited information around them, and each other to figure out the reasons behind their parents’ inexplicable behavior, as well as an outlet for their budding desires. The dialogue and acting in Rich Kids — a somewhat disingenuous title, given that these scenarios could happen in families of any class — is both natural and intelligent, and the plot builds to a hilariously credible denouement. While this isn’t “must see” viewing, it’s certainly a delight, and worth watching at least once.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Wonderful performances by Trini Alvarado and Jeremy Levy
  • A bitingly humorous look at well-meaning parents whose decisions wreak havoc with their kids’ lives
  • Excellent on-location footage in New York

Must See?
No, but it’s a good little sleeper.

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One Response to “Rich Kids (1979)”

  1. First viewing. Agreed – not a must, but a successfully detailed depiction of subject matter which – unlike, say, the very bitter picture we get in ‘Kramer vs. Kramer’ (even tho the child in that is much younger) – allows us a thorough view of the mechanics of divorce from all angles rather equally.

    I’ll note it as unique, am glad I saw it, but it’s unlikely I’d watch it again.

    The title does seem inappropriate.

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