You’re probably wondering what the hell I’m talking about. Let me explain. I wasn’t expecting it, but my goodness do I have a crush on Kelly Lynch in Curly Sue. She plays a jaded lawyer named Grey Ellison and over the course of the film she learns that her career isn’t everything and that being a mom to a young drifter named Curly Sue (played by a charming Alisan Porter, who would later go on to win season ten of The Voice) is what makes her heart whole. Grey Ellison is such a lady. The funny thing is I’ve never had this reaction (or any reaction) to Kelly Lynch in another movie but her in Curly Sue…I mean…Maternal Lynch, yo! Movie crush aside, I really think Kelly Lynch is the MVP of Curly Sue. She has the most interesting (albeit predictable) arc of any character, going from cold and snobby to open and warm. To my delight and maybe the core audience’s frustration back in 1991, Curly Sue works best when the film is an oddly mature family dramedy. I thought the movie was going to be mostly precocious kid hijinks, but aside from a few dress-up scenes and food jokes, it’s more about the lives around Curly Sue (and how she impacts them) than about the title character herself.
Home Alone. There are multiple moments that play like he’s hedging his bets with cartoonish Maître D’s being slapped or cartoon sound effects for people getting hit. This is a very earnest movie, and besides Kelly Lynch, a lot of credit goes to Jim Belushi as well (he plays Bill Dancer; this movie has weird character names). The actor is much more reserved than usual (e.g. he’s in Chicago the whole movie and never mentions the Cubs once) and gives a sweet performance as a drifter who had a one-night stand with Curly Sue’s mom and then took the young girl in as his own when her mother died. 1991 was a good year for Belushi between his work here and in another movie with a John Hughes connection, Chris Columbus’ Only the Lonely. Dumb mullet aside, Belushi is very appealing in these films as he checks his own ego as a performer and plays a character.
Top Gun, Beverly Hills Cop II, Revenge, Jacob’s Ladder, and True Romance, among others. If for no other reason, I’m happy to have revisited Curly Sue to realize finally who is responsible for all this great work. And Kelly Lynch!