Everyone who ever grew up in a cold climate remembers the magic of snow days, those impromptu vacations from school that would spring up overnight. The kid flick Snow Day attempts to capture that magic, but instead turns completely to slush.
The Brandstons are your typical ordinary everyday family. Dad Tom (Chevy Chase) is a weatherman rebelling against the goofy schtick his job forces upon him. Mom Laura (Jean Smart) is a workaholic businesswoman, who neglects her family to seek success. Eldest son Hal (Mark Webber) obsesses about the most popular girl in school, Claire Bonner (Emmanuelle Chriqui). And, daughter Natalie (Zena Grey) just wants one magical day of snow.
Well, Natalie gets her wish as a surprise snowstorm hits the city, overnight covering everything with several feet of the white stuff. The Brandston kids take this as a sign to pursue their various goals. Hal sets out to win the heart of Claire, with faithful friend Lane (Schuyler Fisk) in tow.
Natalie has a more grandiose task in mind. She sets out with her friends to thwart the evil Snowplowman (Chris Elliott), and gain the thing only whispered about in legend: two snow days in a row.
Adults in the audience are given some relief with roles by the likes of Chevy Chase, Iggy Pop, and Pam Grier, but, make no mistake, Snow Day is a film for the children. Even teens would find it a stretch. While the kiddos are out at play, for everyone else Snow Day is simply a pain.
The teenage romance plot is predictable at best, and wearisome at worst. Neither Mark Webber nor Emmanuelle Chriqui inspire sparks. Schuyler Fisk’s performance stands out, but only in comparison. Younger kids will quickly get bored with thei subplot, and older kids will find it a waste of time.
The quest to defeat Snowplowman is the heart of the film, and not a strong one at that. Chris Elliott has a few amusing moments, but his over-the-top performance gets tiresome quickly. The slapstick antics never are truly inspired, but they provide the little amusement that exists in this film.
The film is as insubstantial as a snowflake, and much less detailed. Still, Snow Day is a light confection that does what it sets out to do…it just doesn’t have grandiose expectations.