High-achieving 11-year-old North is frustrated by the lack of attention from his busy, self-absorbed parents. It seems everyone admires North's exceptional qualities except them. One day he has the brilliant idea of replacing them with a more appreciative pair, and encouraged by his journalistic schoolmate Winchell he engages a lawyer. An eccentric judge allows the proposal, but warns him to either find new parents or return to his own parents before Labor Day, or face the orphanage. He has two months, and bagloads of candidates, thanks to widespread media interest.
North travels all over America and the world, encountering assorted absurd regional stereotypes. The first parental candidates, rich flashy Texans wanting to replace their very large dead son, ply North with food and luxuries, but he doesn't want to live in anyone's shadow. In Hawaii, the Governor and his wife want to use him as a poster boy. In Alaska he is shocked by Eskimo customs. Wherever he goes, China, Zaire, France, New York, he is discontented. A variety of characters, all played by Bruce Willis, appear to advise him.
Meanwhile the increasingly sinister Winchell has started an independence-for-kids movement inspired by North. It is astonishingly successful. His political ambitions are boundless, and dependent on North never returning home.
The review of this Movie prepared by Maureen Evans