Movie Review

The Borrowers

MPAA Rating: PG for mild peril and some crude humor

Reviewed by: Tim Emmerich
CONTRIBUTOR

Average
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
10+
Genre:
Adventure
Length:
89 min.
PG

Starring: John Goodman, Jim Broadbent, Mark Williams, Hugh Laurie, Bradley Pierce / Director: Peter Hewitt / Released by: PolyGram

You need to be cautious, quiet and never seen by human beans (actually this is human beings but due to dialect comes across as bean). That is what every good borrower knows and does. You get by living in the floorboards and other nooks and crannies in homes of human beings. This is the case with the Clock family. They are borrowers. There is Pod Clock, the father, and mother, Homily, and adventurous children Arrietty (daughter) and Peagreen (son).

The Clock family lives in an older home and the owner (human being) has recently passed away. Relatives of the owner have moved in, their name happens to be the Lenders, a younger couple with a pre-teen son named Pete. The Lenders hope to live in the house but the last will and testament cannot be found and they are evicted by the realtor Ocious Potter (John Goodman). He desires to demolish the home and build luxury apartments. Needless to say, the Clock family is not happy with the situation and, with Pete’s help, they strive to thwart Potter’s plans as they find the will (which Potter happens to find from the directions the Lender’s relatives left with him)!

This is a cute movie that is based on a novel and earlier TV work. It was a television show in 1973 and another miniprogram in 1993. The special effects are neat and the Borrowers use of common items is fun too (dental floss for rope). The setting for the film seems to be somewhere in the United Kingdom. Maybe that accounts for the British accents—but inconsistencies of American and British dialect are evident, thus detracting a bit from the film. However, “The Borrowers” has a nicely executed (though predictable) storyline. It will remind you of a cross between “Gulliver’s Travels” and “Home Alone.”

From a Christian standpoint, I don’t recall any bad language. The humor does get rude in a few spots (for example, a dog whose diet consists of cheese seems to have a passing-gas problem). Also, young viewers may be scared as the suspense is sometimes intense. It seems these Borrowers could have been called “The Ones Always in Peril”! Actually, the whole premise of “borrowing” without asking permission is okay to watch in a movie, but not practice at home. This should be explained to younger viewers.

Year of Release—1998

Viewer Comments
My husband and I took our 9 yr old daughter to see this movie. We found it quite entertaining. Of course the plot was predictable from an adult’s point of view. What I found entertaining was the creativity of the film in regards to how a “make-believe” small family would survive. (i.e. using a Bravo credit card for the door to the daughter’s room; using dental floss as a way to get around). It gave our daughter an opportunity to be stimulated in a creative way. We look forward to reviewing the movie again when it’s available on video, because I know we missed a lot of the neat creations for the small family’s surroundings. I would recommend this to families with younger children. Our 14 yr old opted not to attend, but I know he would have enjoyed it.
—Becky, age 37
My wife and I went to see “the Borrowers,” refreshed to actually be able to see a movie that had a positive review with nothing offensive reported …BUT …unfortunately the review failed to mention the one expletive, and more importantly the profaning of God’s name. Had I known the movie contained the offense to God, we would not have gone to see it, because we don’t want to entertain ourselves with films that contain content which offends God. If not for the above noted content, I would recommend the film, it was very well done and quite enjoyable.
—Micheal, age 23
“The Borrowers” is a good movie with a rather “Mousehunt”-like plot. John Goodman finds things mysterisly missing he finds that little people have been taking. Good luck but I think that this movie is bad.
—Micah LeFebvre