Synopsis by Mark Deming
An adoptive parent discovers that some children are given up by their biological parents for very good reasons in this dark comedy. Ben Healy (John Ritter) is a pleasant but brow-beaten yuppie working for his father Big Ben (Jack Warden), a tyrannical sporting goods dealer. Ben would love to have a son, but his wife Flo (Amy Yasbeck) has been unable to conceive. Ben approaches less-than-scrupulous adoption agent Igor Peabody (Gilbert Gottfried) with his dilemma, and Igor presents Ben and Flo with a cute seven-year-old boy, Junior (Michael Oliver). However, Junior is hardly a model child; mean-spirited and incorrigible, the child leaves a path of serious destruction in his wake, and is even pen pals with Martin Beck (Michael Richards), a notorious serial killer. After the cat ends up in the hospital, the house catches on fire, and Junior displays his effective but unethical method for winning in Little League, Ben is having serious doubts about Junior when Beck escapes from jail and decides to kidnap his faithful correspondent, along with Junior's new mom. Problem Child proved to be a major box office success, spawning two sequels and a TV series.
adoption, arguing, brat, family, orphan, problem-child, yuppies