The Kid (2000) - Plot Summary Poster



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  • An unhappy and disliked image consultant gets a second shot at life when he is mysteriously confronted by an eight-year-old version of himself.

  • Russ Duritz (Bruce Willis) is a wealthy L.A. image consultant, but as he nears 40, he's cynical, dogless, chickless, estranged from his father (Daniel von Bargen), and he has no memories of his childhood. One night he surprises an intruder (Spencer Breslin), who turns out to be a kid, almost 8 years old. There's something oddly familiar about the chubby lad, whose name is Rusty. The boy's identity sparks a journey into Russ's past that the two of them take - to find the key moment that has defined who Russ is. Two long-suffering women look on with disbelief: Russ's secretary, Janet(Lily Tomlin), and his assistant, the lovely Amy, to whom Rusty takes a shine. What, and who, is at the end of this journey?


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • Russ Duritz (Bruce Willis) is blunt, demanding, obnoxious and rich; a highly sought out image consultant. He is also a workaholic, single, and doesn't stop to smell the roses. He requires the same kind of commitment from his staff, expecting them to jump to his every whim even at 3.00 in the morning. Into his well ordered life comes his former 8 year old self, Rusty. Rusty is still excited about life and considers his older self a loser because he doesn't have a chick, isn't a pilot and doesn't have a dog named Chester, things that he always said he would have when he grew up.

    Rusty is chubby and gets picked on at school back in 1960. Trying to make sense of the situation Russ thinks it must be his job to help the younger Russ so encourages him to stop eating rubbish and takes him to a boxer to help him learn to fight his bullies. Russ' co worker Amy takes a great liking to Rusty, seeing in him qualities that are completely missing from his older self. Rusty picks up on the fact that Russ and Amy may have a future and in an effort not to lose out on such a lovely young woman he proposes to her himself. Unfortunately Russ comes along and events once again show him in an unfavourable light. Amy apologises to young Rusty and leaves. Eventually it dawns on Russ that maybe Rusty has been sent here to help Russ. Russ has blocked out his childhood memories so remembers little of his past life. His relationship with his father is not a good one. By spending more quality time with Rusty and encouraging the boy to tell him about his life back home Russ slowly begins to recover his memories. They aren't good. Russ takes the day off work so the two of them can enjoy their birthday together. They go for a drive and whilst listening to Rusty telling him about being bullied by bigger boys and worse about how these boys torment a poor three legged dog Russ remembers everything. They drive through a tunnel and emerge in 1960 complete with vintage car and clothes! Russ warns Rusty that this is not a good day. As a boy he tried to stop the bullies from setting off fire crackers around the dog's neck and got beaten up for his pains. What was worse he didn't even manage to save the dog. It is recess when they arrive at the school and the bullies see Rusty and call for him to join him. Even though he knows what is in store for him he decides to face them. At least Russ will be there this time. After a rough start he gets the better of the main bully and saves the dog. However he is hauled in front of the Principle and his mother is sent for. Russ warns Rusty that it is not over yet. The day is about to get a lot worse. Rusty's mom takes him home and arrives at the same time as his dad. His father is furious to find that his wife who is seriously ill has been to school takes his worry out on little Rusty. He screams and shouts at him and tells him that his mother is going to die and that it's Rusty's fault. Russ goes to him as soon as their dad has gone back in the house and explains that dad was just worried and so said things he shouldn't. Rusty wants to know if it is his fault that his mom is dying. Russ reassures him. He hugs the kid and they weep together. It is the first time that Russ has cried since he was 8. Russ takes Rusty for a ride in their car and they find an old diner which keeps appearing and disappearing throughout the film. Whilst they are eating a dog comes running up to Rusty. His owner shouts for him to come back. He calls him Chester! The two of them race from the diner and onto a private air strip where the dog's owner an old man in a red baseball cap comes to greet them. He is an older version of them, aged about 70. He admits that he has been behind everything. They say goodbye as he walks towards his own plane. There waiting is an old lady who looks as if she might once have been the younger Amy. They are thrilled to see her there and equally thrilled to see Russ Snr fly the plane himself. They both jump for joy on the tarmac, excited to realise that one day they will fulfill their childhood dream of becomming a pilot! Russ looks at the sky again and when he turns back Rusty is gone and he is back in the present. The following day he turns up at Amy's house with a little puppy and she invites him in.

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