In this odd and attenuated version of A Christmas Carol
, 8-year-old Russ Duritz (Spencer Breslin) is whisked by a red bi-plane (don’t ask) into the future to provide his own 40-year-old self (Bruce Willis) with the chance to change from a curdled, churlish asshole into something more resembling his long-ago hopes for himself. The Kid
is unselfconsciously goopy, dripping with gooey pop-psych balm for massaging the moviegoer’s aching self-esteem, but it is not, unlike much of the current summer fare, actively offensive. Because Emily Mortimer, as Duritz’ long-suffering employee and would-be lover, is the diamond amid the dross of this film, The Kid
, underneath all the time-travel razzle-dazzle and onanistic man-dueling, plays best as a love story, exploring the necessity for the male to actually grow up before he may be deemed worthy of his lady’s attentions and affections.