It comes full circle. We did ten men, women, and now the ten most irritating kids on screen. Suggested by a child and so out of the mouths of babes, Nicely Put rises to the challenge.
Goes without saying this is a bit of fun and is aimed at the CHARACTER and NOT the actor in question. Really mind-blowing we have to say that but it is a must. So to underline that we are NOT including the names of the actors. Suffice to say as it is a retro summary piece, spoilers are involved so read the bold print and avert your eyes if required
This is not an ascending or descending list, so in no particular order...
10: AJ Soprano: The Sopranos 1999-2007
Anyone who reads our blogs will know, The Sopranos holds a very high place in regard here at Nicely Put. Tony had two children. Beautiful, accomplished, sophisticated Meadow, and...ummm...AJ. He liked Mario Kart. Went from whiny overfed overpriveliged brain-dead brat who had a "moment of clarity" when he realised that bigger kids were scared of him, not because of his huge child form but because his father was a ruling mob boss. Grew into a workshy, manipulated, confrontation-dodging suicide case, like, in a bad way. In adulthood actually did gain some integrity as a labourer but never lost the entitled bewilderment.
9: Dana Brody: Homeland Series 1 -3 2011-2013
Anyone who ever said parenting was a thankless task was clearly in the mind of this super-fickle whinge-machine. Her father returns from years of torture and she considers her minor issues in the whole scenario far more deserving of being the deciding factor than the man electrocuted and beaten. Full of ungrateful complaints and with a ever-rotating sulk-arsenal. The queen of the moody teens. Her entitled wittering and unsaleable standards are particularly highlighted by the contrast with her pleasant and likeable younger brother, Chris.
8: Tommy Tommasino: The Sixth Sense 1999
With his slimy tactics of fooling his victim's mother with on-the-surface friendliness and then gloating to Cole (whom he calls "Freak") that he has conned her with his acting skills (he plays roles in commercials) we have a more duplicitous bully than the garden variety. An undoubted masterpiece. However, it loses a penny for the unexplained sudden casting out of Tommy and exultation of Cole. It is not shown how the teacher -who had only recently also yelled at Cole, calling him a Freak- has sidelined Tommy to be humiliated in the school play, whilst previously (and as far as the audience knows, still) vilified Cole gets the starring role. We are glad it happened but to see why and maybe see the horrid Tommy get some payback would have served better. That said it is a peripheral story and not essential to the arc.
7: Alex Marshall: What Women Want 2000
Is it just in America, but divorcee or not, if a kid talks to a parent that way, in the UK, it would just not fly. We are taught to respect our parents. This character has not been the greatest Dad ever. He HAS provided very well, and is trying to now make up for it. There are tens of millions of very pleasant children that would kill for such a luxury position. If he molested her, beat her, or never paid maintenance, fair enough. Yet this moody little trollop sounds off at Mel Gibson after he has spent the day shopping with her, allowing her to have friends over all the time and order take-out, even capitulating to supporting and paying for the dress, for the Prom she is going to with the older boyfriend she plans to allow statutory rape from, giving ungrateful, acidic, and spiteful spoiled brattish sass whilst she lives, eats, drinks, and plays in opulence and privilege.
6: Greg Heffley: Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2010
Mark Kermode once said that Horrid Henry was a great kids film because it was made FOR kids, not for what adults would approve of for kids. I am sure in his comparison he was referring to this. The over-stupid father, the super-awful mum and the ludicrous caricature of a big brother is tonic to the main character, Greg. He is a kid with no interest in anyone but himself, he exploits his friends, he is vain, and manipulative and as selfish as they come. Outshone even by the preposterously ludicrous Rowley, his uber naive best pal purely because Rowley is, underneath it all, actually a good person, if annoying enough to get an honourable mention (spoiler alert!). Greg continues to scheme. A great kids illustrated book, but just like my all-time fave illustrated kids stories, Calvin & Hobbes, does not work on the big-screen.
5:Barker Simmons: Parental Guidance 2012
A terribly behaved little brat. He will never do what he is told, is rude, aggressive, and is mostly down to the absurd parenting he was raised with. His "boundary-testing" excused rotten behaviour is just awful. Now in a film with Billy Crystal playing Billy Crystal but with extra annoying face-pulls, standing out worse than that is quite a feat. A film that, after all, holds a 17% on Rotten Tomatoes. Barker is the kid who comes to your kid's party and breaks toys, sticks his finger in the cake, and generally ruins it for everyone and the ever-smiling mother calls him "energetic" and "willful" when really he is a horrid little shit that needs to hear the word "no" once in a while. Has the type of parents that always ask for validation; "he is so cute, isn't he?" A little clue, if you say that to someone, watch the reply, you will know if you have a little bastard on your hands and they sure did.
4: Buzz McCallister: Home Alone 1990
We have all seen them ,the pasty, bodily-function-happy, sabotaging older brother. Kevin McCallister helping all left-out younger kids feel vindicated. A small annoyance to the rest that Buzz, after teasing and abusing (you can straight imagine him spitting on Kevin and other grim organic fluid hi-jinx) deliberately ate his pizza, the only one he could have, but when he reacts to being starved, the holiday-obsessed clan turn on poor Kev for being a troublemaker. I totally support Kevin all the way on this. As a youngest child told to stop whining when my brother suffocated me, defaced my magazines (that I saved for two weeks to buy) and stole money happily from my pot, I hold Buzz in contempt and pass sentence. Number 4 for you son!
3: Patty Farrell: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: 2010
A brace for the movie adaptation of the bestselling (and far better) kids books. Greg Heffley's nemesis. A brash, snotty , privileged brat with pigtails, a violent dispensation, and a totally imagined talent. She is truly a horrid wretch. She hates Greg, due to an incident of bullying in pre-school (which Greg characteristically still considers funny and acceptable) but she dines on it for years. She bullies him, assaults him, and goes out of her way to show what a vile child she is. the entitled threats to teachers of PTA punishment via her (probably equally entitled and vicious mother) is ludicrous but at the same time speaks to a very true phenomenon from schools everywhere, PTA elitism. You will see us write about that soon.
2: Anakin Skywalker: Star Wars I The Phantom Menace 1999 and II Attack of the Clones 2002
The only one where it is partially aimed at the actor also, purely due to reports of his supreme brattishness on set. His parents who were there to make him behave and ensure he was safe decided, once he had the role, that he was pivotal to the saga and without him the film was lost so he could do what he liked. Stories of him refusing to not make sound-effects as he was firing weapons or driving a pod, going off-script in a final take, causing endless retakes because he wanted to be funny, and refusing to follow technical instruction were widely reported. Still that is all hearsay. what IS fact is that he had zero charm, plenty of arrogance, a negative likability factor, and seemed to think he was a lot cuter and funnier than he was. His off-putting persona was certainly continued and increased by the whingey and sulky older version in parts II and III with the ubiquitously contemptible young-adult Jedi who would pout and show-off, sassing his senior Obi Wan (both on and off screen) walking in dick-first to all scenes with Princess/Senator Amidala. Essentially they took possibly the greatest cinematic villain of all time and turned him into an endlessly annoying brat and an erection-led adolescent.
1: Tia Russell: Uncle Buck 1989
The textbook case of the moody teen girl. As Deadpool says, "long silences, followed by mean comments, followed by more long silences." In this case, I find we never grow to sympathise with Tia. We forgive her frosty first meeting with Buck, however, once he has put his case and she still continues to be a sullen twerp, she loses the audience. The always loveable John Candy is happy to give his niece some freedom, but she will not give anything back. She is spiteful, mean, ungrateful, and insulting. Whilst in the end, she learns and capitualtes, for us, she is old enough to have known better and does not get forgiven by the audience for her lies, spite, and deliberate ruining of Buck's relationship. The adorable Buck ultimately save's her from the hurt and pain she was setting herself up for. I personally wanted to see her learn the hard way. If she was eleven, maybe, but she was over sixteen. Maybe, once again it is a British thing but here such snotty arrogance at that age is met with the adult treatment these snarky little abortions desperately crave. America seems to allow children to be children even when they are grown. Tia was old enough to know better, but she did worse, so she must learn. Alone