Marion Woodman has observed: "If you travel far enough, one day you will recognize yourself coming down the road to meet yourself. And you will say YES!" Only trouble is, most of us still find parts of ourselves to be very unappealing. We may carry around negative images of how we were when we were younger. Or we may fear that the child we once were wouldn't like the person we have become. These angles of self-acceptance are cleverly and convincingly explored in this drama written by Audrey Wells (Guinevere). Director Jon Turteltaub (Phenomenon) has just the right touch for the magical realism of the entertaining storyline.
Shortly before his fortieth birthday, Russ Duritz (Bruce Willis) starts seeing things. He's convinced that some person in an old red airplane is buzzing him on the highway. Oddly enough, when he was a young boy his ambition was to be a pilot. Instead, he is now a wildly successful, workaholic image consultant who enjoys bossing around his wealthy clientele and his faithful assistant Janet (Lily Tomlin).
This wheeler-dealer lives alone in a fancy house, and it's no wonder. He doesn't relate very well to people. When his father (Daniel Von Bergen) asks for help with a move, Russ gives him a check to cover the expenses. He isn't much better in his personal relationship with Amy (Emily Mortimer), a business associate who is offended when Russ exploits some children in order to save face for a besieged baseball team owner. The only one Russ can turn to for advice is Deirdre (Jean Smart), an L.A. television anchor he meets on an airplane.
Russ never talks about his past. That's probably why one day Rusty (Spencer Breslin), Russ's eight-year-old self, shows up. The boy is a crybaby, weak, overweight, and picked on by older kids. Russ is embarrassed by him. But then Rusty is not very impressed with what he has become in middle age a lonely, driven, single man who doesn't even have a dog.
The Kid is one of those special movies that compels us to consider our lives afresh. How have we treated our "inner child" and the incidents in our past that have deeply influenced us? What family wounds have we still not resolved? And are we capable of embracing all that we have been and all that we are now? To do so is to walk the spiritual path. And to do so is to joyfully meet ourselves with the word YES!