Five children — mostly products of broken families en route from one parent to the other — get snowed in at a fictitious Midwest airport on Christmas Eve. They’re an odd lot: the sassy rich girl (Gina Mantegna), the sweet dork who digs her (Dyllan Christopher), the gadget geek (a very Urkel-esque Tyler James Williams), the tomboy (Quinn Shephard), and a beefy gentle giant (Brett Kelly, who almost stole Bad Santa from Billy Bob Thornton). What galvanizes them is the de facto Scrooge, an airport administrator (Lewis Black) who doesn’t allow holiday decorations and wants to lock the five up in a detention hall of sorts. It’s The Breakfast Club by way of Home Alone, which makes the fact that it was inspired by a true story aired on NPR’s This American Life even more peculiar. TV director Paul Feig (Arrested Development) struggles with comic nuance, but the kids’ ingenuousness helps the film jell. And an uncredited Teri Garr is the star on the tree as a drunken aunt.
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