Written by / 9/27/2011 / No comments / , , , ,

GARY COLEMAN IS ON THE RIGHT TRACK

year: 1981 rating: **1/2
Orson Welles looked upon the set of CITIZEN KANE and referred to it as the biggest train set in the world. Perhaps Gary Coleman felt the same way here, literally: As a real life Lionel Train collector, the young DIFF’RENT STROKES star must have been in heaven as a pint-sized homeless kid living inside a train station locker.

Each morning he wakes up and shines shoes, much to the chagrin of a fat jerk store owner who calls Michael Lembeck, a friendly officer in the Juvenile Court division, quickly and quite understandably falling in love with Coleman’s big sister of sorts, played by the gorgeous and likable  Lisa Eilbacher  a wannabe singer working at an arcade.

Remember VHS?
Lembeck wants to take the young hobo in, and for one reason only: the spunky phenom has a way of picking triples in the horse game. This brings that element needed in any film: the characters, having gained something, now have everything to lose. But it's also when the plot (or plots) get dizzying. Seeing more of Coleman running around the station, playing con-games and avoiding capture, would have made a better film. Pointless perhaps, but far more entertaining than this soup with too many cooks including Norman Fell as a perplexed mayor and Maureen Stapleton as an annoying bag lady... All falling to the charms of our young hero, who eventually finds happiness money can’t buy.

This earned two Razzie nominations but it isn't completely awful. And there's an abundance of sex jokes, some uttered by Coleman himself, giving it a somewhat creepy vibe.
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