Nostalgiathon: Ri¢hie Ri¢h [1994]

Hello readers! This post is part of Andy Watches Movies and Cinema Schinema‘s joint project Nostalgiathon 2012.

The purpose of Nostalgiathon is to relive things from your childhood through the eyes of an adult. Since Andy Watches Movies and Cinema Schminema are both movie-focused blogs, we will be covering movies, but books, TV shows, whatever else are all fair game if you’d like to participate.

Eight year-old me loved this one.

When I was in elementary school, one of the big networks in Mexico aired it practically every weekend. Richie Rich and Baby’s Day Out were pretty much the only options if you were a kid catching a movie on TV after growing a bit tired of all your Disney films on VHS (not that I’m complaining).

And when I wanted a break from The Lion King or Aladdin, I would turn on the TV and, magically, Richie Rich would be on. I absolutely loved watching it. We never had a hard time growing up, regarding money or otherwise, but I fantasized about being rich like Richie. I lived vicariously through him.

He had servants, a mansion, and even his very own amusement park, complete with the most awesome toys (quads, the “Kiddiepult”).  I’ll forever be jealous of the kid for having his own McDonald’s at home, not that I love those tiny bites of cholesterol with a side of cold, too-salty fries, but having your own fast food joint at home is the coolest thing (personally, I’d go for Carl’s Jr.)

22 year-old me, eh, not so much.

Wow, this movie’s dumb. Small kids like me when I ate this type of crap up, too distracted by their fantasies of wealth and private amusement parks might not notice, but the writing is horrid and cheesy and every character (filthy-rich or not) is clichéd, one-dimensional and mostly unsympathetic. Revisiting Richie Rich gave me an uneasy mix of pain and pleasure. Watching it again after more than a decade brought back some nice memories but I couldn’t shake the feeling that everything was so implausible and that the story could’ve worked much better as an animated film.

Wow, I’ve turned into an old coot, haven’t I?

OK. Positives, positives. It was nice to see that all the technology the movie presented as a bit far-fetched and only for the über-rich, are now household things like videocall and Google Maps. Christine Ebersole as Regina, Richie’s mom, and Stephi Lineburg as one of his “poor” friends are pretty good. But, honestly, if it weren’t for the nostalgic ties that bind me to this movie, I wouldn’t have enjoyed it in the least.

So, in summation, I hate Andy and Misty for creating Nostalgiathon (I’m kidding, obviously).

I do hate myself a bit, though, for watching this one after all these years and for spoiling the image I’d built up in my head. If I had left it alone, I’d still think very fondly of that great awful movie of my childhood. Whatever. We’ll always have Disney.

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