To Grandmother's House We Go
|To Grandmother's House We Go|
|Directed by||Jeff Franklin|
|Written by||Jeff Franklin
|Music by||Richard Bellis|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros.|
To Grandmother's House We Go is a 1992 Christmas television film starring Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. The film's title is one of the first lines of Lydia Maria Child's Thanksgiving song "Over the River and through the Woods". It debuted on ABC with unexpected success, mostly because of the already growing popularity of the "Olsen Twins".
Twin sisters Sarah and Julie (Mary-Kate Olsen and Ashley Olsen) are two naughty yet cunning children that drive their work-obsessed divorced mother, Rhonda Thompson (Cynthia Geary), up the wall. At one point, they overhear her under frustration saying that they are a "handful" and wishes more than anything that she could have a "vacation". They decide to go give Rhonda what she wants and head off to their great-grandmother's house for Christmas. The girls pack up their bags and hop on their bicycles. But there's a problem; they aren't allowed to cross the street on their own, which leads them to riding their bikes around their block. That's when the city bus pulls up and they sneak on through the back door. While riding the bus, an elderly lady informs them that it only goes back and forth between Uptown and Downtown; she also informs them that Edgemont (where Grandma lives) is actually several hours away.
After getting off the bus downtown and strolling around a while, they spot Eddie Popko (J. Eddie Peck) (a delivery man who has a crush on their mom) and his truck. They sneak into its back, thinking that he will lead them to their great-grandmother's, and only reveal themselves to him because Sarah desperately has to go to the bathroom. Although Eddie doesn't like kids, he eventually starts to enjoy the girls' company after discovering that he gets large tips when they help him deliver packages. He evens buys them ice cream, as well as a lottery ticket with the numbers of their birth date (6-13-19-8-7). Meanwhile, the babysitter has noticed that the girls were missing and inform Rhonda about it, who in concerns of the news frantically closes her opened 24/7 store, and rushes home to inspect the place and call the police. Just as she is reporting it to the police, Eddie calls her and gives her the good news that he has the girls and how they got there. She agrees to come pick them up, but he agrees to keep them and watch over them, promising to bring them back at the end of the day when he has finished, while having the girls believe that he will take them to grandma's if they help out.
After the day's deliveries are finished, of course against their will, he brings them home (while also revealing to them that adults will saying anything to get kids to go along). He manages to make it back home telling the girls to go to the back to get their suitcases where he will meet them there. Attempting to do so, he manages to step out of his truck and lock his door, only to be attacked just in time by two robbers who knock him temporarily unconscious, swipe his keys and steal his truck (with the girls still inside). When the robbers (who turn out to be the infamous, "Around the City FPD Bandits" the police have a warrant out for), Harvey and Shirley (Jerry Van Dyke and Rhea Perlman), discover them and why they are there, they decide they can make some money by kidnapping them for ransom. In the meanwhile, Rhonda and Eddie are being questioned by Detective Gremp (Stuart Margolin) in attempts to catch the criminals and get the girls back. Rhonda gets disgusted with Eddie when in the middle of setting up the warrant, he reveals his obsession over winning the lottery by turning on her TV from the alarm on his watch and observing the numbers on the cards he has hoarded, only to find that the lucky winner card he has made out (which matches the girls' birthday) is missing. He never realizes why it is until a little later when Det. Gremp informs the police about their birthday. From this, Rhonda assumes he is more concerned about his chances of winning the lottery than the fact that her girls are gone and might be in danger. So, she kicks him out, and Det. Gremp apologizes about his apathetic remarks just before leaving. As he leaves, Eddie approaches him and asks for a ride home because of losing his truck, which Det. Gremp reluctantly agrees to do. As they go riding and Det. Gremp radios the police station about the report on the kids and when he comes across their birthday, Eddie tells him to stop the car just remembering what happened to his ticket, and he lies to Det. Gremp that a little ways away from Rhonda's place is where he lives, and that he only asked for a ride because he always wanted to see what it was like to ride in a police car. He runs back to Rhonda telling her that he has decided to take on the duty of helping her find her children (and even explains where his lost ticket was).
In the meanwhile, Shirley makes a phone call to Rhonda, asking for a ransom which she calls a "reward" of $10,000 in cash. Rhonda is reluctant to agree to such thing, but Eddie instantly does, and therefore they both agree to it. Shirley also forced Rhonda not to inform the police about it, or else they will permanently disappear with the girls. She tells her that they will make the trade at the ice rink in Edgemont, and that she is to wear a red hat.
Meanwhile, Harvey has begun to like the girls and when he asks Shirley why they never had kids, she replies that it's because they're too busy being criminals, though he agrees that it's just their job rather than a mission (which is how Shirley views it). Eddie and Rhonda reluctantly agree to raise the money for ransom through opening up and selling merchandise which Eddie is supposed to be delivering. However, they succeed as planned and manage to make it close to the threshold of what they're supposed to raise. Eddie gives Rhonda a red cowgirl hat from his stack of cowboy wannabes. They succeed as planned; however, the pawnshops start noticing the stolen merchandise and reporting to Detective Gremp and his officials, writing out a warrant for their arrest, mistaking them for the bandits.
Through they manage to make it to the skating rink in Edgemont, through runaway horses disguised as reindeer which Santa left after they had a visit with him, and with the help of Eddie's intervention and resilience, Sarah and Julie eventually get to their great-grandmother's house. Then, Eddie and Rhonda get together after he saves the girls. (By this time, Rhonda apologizes to the girls for being upset and making them think that they were a handful and that she wanted a vacation.)
Just as everything becomes okay and Eddie and Rhonda reunite with a hug, Detective Gremp and one of his officials burst in and handcuff them. They try to reveal to Gremp the truth about what was going on in their side of the story and what Eddie had planned to do to pay it all back, but he immediately denies it, still assuming that they are the real bandits because of the whole ransom deal. Harvey's heart goes out to them as Shirley is trying to force them to get away while they have the chance; thanks to his conscience kicking in, he intervenes and causes the truth to be revealed. They get handcuffed and sent away, with Harvey telling Shirley that if they ever get out, he will make her proud by being the worst convict possible.
Through enough persuasion, Gremp agrees to let Eddie, Rhonda and the girls go back to the city with him, so Eddie will be back in time to be able to have a chance at winning the lotto of 1.3 million dollars on a TV show. He promises to split what he wins between Rhonda and the girls, and has the girls spin it for him. Through pure luck, he wins the jackpot, and they give all the people their parcels back afterwards. At the end, everybody is happy spending Christmas together.
The movie was filmed in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Its release debuted in the USA December 6, 1992, Poland on December 25, 1996. The movie was also released in other countries in which it was renamed:
- Mary-Kate Olsen as Sarah Thompson
- Ashley Olsen as Julie Thompson
- Cynthia Geary as Rhonda Thompson, Sarah and Julie's divorced mother.
- J. Eddie Peck as Eddie Popko, a package delivery man who has a crush on Rhonda.
- Jerry Van Dyke as Harvey, who is one of the FPD Bandits.
- Rhea Perlman as Shirley, who is one of the FPD Bandits.
- Stuart Margolin as Det. Gremp
- Florence Patterson as Great Grandma Mimi
- Venus Terzo as Stacey, who is a babysitter.
- Andrew Wheeler as Policeman
- Rick Poltaruk as Santa
- Walter Marsh as Crotchety Man
- Bob Saget as Win-O-Lotto Lottery Host
- Lori Loughlin as Win-O-Lotto Lottery Hostess
- Lorena Gale as Waitress
- Note: This movie starred many actors and actresses from the ABC sitcom, Full House, which included Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen as Sarah and Julie, Bob Saget as the Win-O-Lottery host, Lori Loughlin as the Win-O-Lottery hostess, Andrea Barber (uncredited), and Candace Cameron, who could be seen in the Win-O-Lottery audience.