Re: Movies that SHOULD be remade/rebooted
Totally...and then proceeds to overdo it, long after it was a good idea.
So, bringing it back on track...And please hear me out on this one: House Arrest (released summer of '96, but made more than a year before then).
House Arrest is about a family (headlined by Kevin Pollak and Jamie Lee Curtis) who are out of love with each other. They announce to their kids that separation is eminent. Their son can't accept it, and decides to lock his parents in the basement of their home and keep them there until they work things out.
A few of the kids in his class at school catch wind of this plan and decide to do the same to their own parents, but they bring their folks to the hero's basement (so as to keep things localized and together). As the groups of parents fight it out (including Jennifer Tilly, who is being punished for dressing like and acting like her daughter, played by Jennifer Love Hewitt, in order to not grow up and be her "best friend"), the groups of kids attempt to "play house", all with disastrous and mostly slapstick results.
By the end, Pollak and Curtis rediscover that spark, another couple get divorced but decide to become working partners and Tilly learns to grow up and be a parent (only not so much, but I'll get into that in a moment).
The problem with the movie, I feel, is not all of the ideas are executed to their fullest potential and the rest are played more for wacky, shallow, child-friendly comedy. For example, Wallace Shawn gets stuck in a window like Winnie the Pooh, Jamie Lee Curtis encounters rats, falls down a laundry chute and splits her pants, Ray Walston gets strung upside down from a tree and the kids make some horrible, junk-based dinner to feed their parents.
I feel to remake it into a "good" film (and some of these elements ARE there, which is why I kind of enjoy the film in its current state), it would be better to age the kids to adolescence (15 to 17), strip down the cast of characters on both sides, like putting some characters' arcs and issues into another. For instance, Make Tilly's character not just a big kid who is too sisterly to her daughter, but ALSO be the one to gain her husband's respect by becoming his equal partner in work, even though they still get divorced. It would also help to juxtapose the adults' arguments with the kids (now teens) upstairs, attempting to play house and be something of a functioning, domestic unit and discovering just how hard it can be, thus allowing them to relate to and sympathize with their respective parents. Finally, overhaul the tone and sense of humor to something much more smart and serious. Instead of a loud, obnoxious, half-hearted kids film, turn it into a charming, poignant family film.
If John Hughes were still with us, I'd throw his name in an instant to re-write and direct (but less Home Alone and more The Breakfast Club).