Review: The Year My Parents Went on Vacation


Director:Cao Hamburger

Cast:Michel Joelsas, Germano Haiut, Caio Blat

Running Time:110.00


Suffering from an uneventful script, average acting and a predictable story, The Year My Parents Went on Vacation disappoints its viewers, leaving them unaffected and uninterested in the happenings on screen.

Taking place in 1980, Mauro, a twelve-year-old boy, is thrown into a world of political unrest when his left-wing parents are forced to go on 'vacation.' And though he is suppose to be staying with his grandfather, Mauro is forced to make adjustments to his body and mind as he cares for his grandfather's Jewish neighbor, Sao Paulo. Making new friends has never been a strong suit for the Mauro, but with Brazil playing in the 1970 World Cup, he has a common bond with the diverse people around him. But he still misses his parents, awaiting their return for the championship match, as he has been promised that they will watch it together, as a family.

My biggest complaint about The Year My Parents Went on Vacation is its script and flow. Carrying a very strong story, mixed with some stellar on-screen occurrences, you would think that the film was exciting, interesting and emotional; however, you couldn't be further from the truth. Instead we are greeted with one scene of a raid and another hour and twenty minutes of anti-climatic character development. There is simply no flow to the story, no real 'risk' of the government and no real 'growing-stage' for Mauro.

And speaking of Mauro, I must mention Michel Joelsas, who plays the lovable boy. Though his performance was anything but stellar, I must admit that he was the most likeable character and actor in the film. His emotions and confusion were dead on and his ability to seem innocent yet be in-control was truly amazing. However, I must mention that Joelsas' performance did not have good company as Germano Haiut and Simone Spoladore disappoint as Shlomo and Bia, Mauro's mother, respectively.

And lastly I must put some concentration on the film's predictability. Over the course of a summer, Mauro is subjected to many situations that were both character building and overwhelming for the average twelve-year-old; however, all situations were easily overcome and each solution was simple and predictable. On top of that, there was so much foreshadowing that nothing really came as a surprise, and when things did, they came and went as if nothing of importance ever took place.

In the end, The Year My Parents Went on Vacation had potential; however, it failed to capitalize on that potential and ultimately lacked any real content, becoming a bore before reaching its half way point.


About Stephen Davis

Stephen Davis
I owe this hobby/career to the one and only Stephanie Peterman who, while interning at Fox, told me that I had too many opinions and irrelevant information to keep it all bottled up inside. I survived my first rated R film, Alive, at the ripe age of 8, it took me months to grasp the fact that Julia Roberts actually died at the end of Steel Magnolias, and I might be the only person alive who actually enjoyed Sorority Row…for its comedic value of course. While my friends can drink you under the table, I can outwatch you when it comes iconic, yet horrid 80s films like Adventures in Babysitting and Troop Beverly Hills. I have no shame when it comes to what I like, and if you have a problem with that, then we’ll settle it on the racquetball court. I see too many movies to actually win any film trivia contest, so don’t waste your first pick on me. My friends rent movies from my bookcase shelves, and one day I do plan to start charging. I long to live in LA, where my movie obsession will actually help me fit in, but for now I am content with my home in Austin. I prefer indies to blockbusters, Longhorns to Sooners and Halloween to Friday the 13th. I miss the classics, as well as John Ritter, and I hope to one day sit down and interview the amazing Kate Winslet.

Leave a Reply