A Little Game: DVD Review


Arriving on DVD this week is the family-film “A Little Game”, starring Ralph Macchio, Janeane Garofalo, F. Murray Abraham, Olympia Dukakis, and newcomer Makenna Ballard. With a line up like that, I wish I could tell you that this was something quite special. Instead, what we get is a cheesy yet harmless family film that feels like it was made for the Lifetime Channel. It also feels like a waste of the talent involved.

Max Kuftinek (Ballard) is having trouble making friends at her posh new uptown school. Her parents Tom (Macchio) and Sarah (Garofalo) are working hard to be able to send her there. When a fellow student gives Max a hard time, she decides to take chess lessons from Norman (Abraham), a long-time chess player who spends his afternoons at the game tables in the neighborhood park.

Norman has his own way of teaching his new student. He lets her make one chess piece move per day and then sends her around the city to find things that will inspire her. It almost feels like a chess version of “The Karate Kid”, which make sense with the casting of Macchio as the Max’s father.

This isn’t a terrible film, but it just feels lazy. I love the cast but I just wish they could get better material to work with than this.

By: Marc Ferman

Order: A Little Game (DVD)