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  • Necessary Parties (Wonderworks Family Movie) [VHS]
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Necessary Parties (Wonderworks Family Movie) [VHS]


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Product Details

  • Actors: Alan Arkin, Anthony Arkin, John Batiste, Barbara Dana, Stefan DeSalle
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Goldhill Home Media
  • VHS Release Date: November 21, 2000
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6304312105
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #706,149 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By G W Thielman on June 21, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
_Necessary_Parties_ illuminates a window on the innocent victims of divorce -- the children. Chris Mills, a 14-year old boy, hires a jaded part-time attorney to derail his parents martial dissolution proceedings. The film creates a nuanced portrait of the protagonist Chris and Corelli, his auto-mechanic lawyer. The grandfather and a class chum add comic relief. Other performances seem a tad more mixed. The mother figure seems rather detached even for the character portrayed and the father figure resembles a caricature, spouting platitudes that divorcing parents invariably say and cannot possibly mean. (This isn't a reflection of the acting, but of the script.)
Amidst the pressures brought on by within the court, the law, his parents and the school, Chris continues against the odds to plead his case. And they are long odds indeed, for as the judge points out towards the end, the law provides no remedy against mutual or even unilateral divorce. Finally, the pain Chris and his kid-sister Jenny feel move both father and mother to reconcile and renew their commitment to their family.
The film provides a glimpse at family law and merges a facet of contract law. Generally, legal issues were far more accurately introduced than in _The_Rain_Maker_. One jarring note was the intimidating meeting between Chris and his father's lawyer Davis, which nowadays might be sanctionable, since Davis knew the boy was represented by counsel. One minor concession that WonderWorks made to the PC crowd was the obligatory anti-smoking campaign aimed at the father (despite being a fitness freak) that intermittantly seeped in.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By G W Thielman on June 19, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
_Necessary_Parties_ illuminates a window on the innocent victims of divorce -- the children. Chris Wells, a 14-year old boy, hires a jaded part-time attorney to derail his parents martial dissolution proceedings. The film creates a nuanced portrait of the protagonist Chris and his auto-mechanic lawyer. The grandfather and one class chum add comic relief. Other performances seem a tad more mixed. The mother figure seems rather detached even for the character portrayed and the father figure presents a mere caricature, spouting platitudes that divorcing parents invariably say and cannot possibly mean.
Amidst the pressures brought on by within the court, the law, his family and his school, Chris continues against the odds to plead his case. And they are long odds indeed, for as the judge points out towards the end, the law provides no remedy against mutual or even unilateral divorce. Finally, the pain Chris and his kid-sister feel move both father and mother to reconcile and renew their commitment to their family.
The film provides a glimpse at family law and merges a facet of contract law. Generally, legal issues were far more accurately introduced than in _The_Rain_Maker_. One jarring note was the poignant meeting between Chris and his father's lawyer, which nowadays might be sanctionable, since the lawyer knew the boy was represented by counsel. One minor concession that WonderWorks made to the PC crowd was the obligatory anti-smoking admonition aimed at the father (despite being a fitness freak) that intermittantly seeped in.
_Necessary_Parties_ points to the thoughtless selfishness of most divorces -- caused by an intellectual dishonesty in refusal to acknowledge that this legal racket injures children, or that the public ought not expect couples to fulfill their martial obligations. The film is a heart-warming story that ought to be watched by all persons contemplating dissolution.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By I'm Just Saying on August 26, 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This movie aired on television as part of "PBS Wonderworks" around 1988. That fact alone should tell you all you need to know. I can't recall ever seeing anything on "PBS Wonderworks" that wasn't excellent. The premise is about a couple who have become really busy and can't make their marriage work anymore. They announce to their kids that they are getting a divorce. They have two kids, 14 year old Chris (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) and the much younger Jenny (Taylor Fry).

Chris refuses to accept what is assumed to be inevitable and decides to get an attorney (Archie Corelli played by Alan Arkin)to help him intervene in the divorce hearing and include him as a necessary party to the proceedings. One humorous fact is that he's only a licensed attorney. He doesn't officially practice law. His primary profession is as a mechanic. He is the mechanic for Chris's father. That's an interesting twist. Christ tried to tell his parents he is not sitting by and watching this happen. He tells them he is pursuing legal action but they don't take him serious until he shows up at the hearing with his attorney. They take it very serious at that point.

The story of divorce isn't new in cinema, but it isn't often considered from the viewpoint of the affected children. This movie ventures into new territory and is excellent clean family entertainment. Alan Arkin is always great. In truth, he is the glue that brings all of this movie together. He has that knack. The kids are excellent in this one too. Taylor Fry was very young in this one and continued her acting career for about 8 years after this film. Mark-Paul Gosselaar went on to star as Zach in the kids show "Saved by the Bell".
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