Unaccompanied Minors (called Grounded in the UK) is a 2006 comedy film, directed by Paul Feig and starring Dyllan Christopher, Lewis Black, Wilmer Valderrama, Tyler James Williams, Brett Kelly, Gina Mantegna, and Quinn Shephard. It is based on a true story by Susan Burton, first told on the public radio show This American Life under the title "In the Event of an Emergency, Put Your Sister in an Upright Position".


Five unaccompanied minors are stuck at fictional Hoover International Airport for Christmas Eve. The five minors try to make Christmas come true for Katherine Davenport, a young girl who believes in Santa Claus (even though she's afraid of him).

The five minors (Spencer, Charlie, "Beef", Grace and Donna) escape the UM room and make a mess in the airport. As they escape, each of them try to do things as if they were birds that just came out of their nests. Grace Conrad, a rich girl, exfoliates herself in the airport lounge; Beef transforms the emergency equipment room into his own amusement park; Spencer orders the heart attack special in the cafe and leaves it without paying; Charlie tries to be a karaoke boy at the toy shop; and Donna commits Grand Theft Auto destroying whatever comes into her way. And as a punishment, they are not taken to the hotel the airport is providing for the UM's. They were trapped again in the UM room which smells like a horse died in it. They again try to escape Van Bourke, the clerk who is guarding them, and they succeed. The airport locks up for the night, since the snowfall is so high. "Beef" escapes to find a tree for Katherine. While Beef is looking for a tree, he remembers the saying that his mother’s boyfriend told him, “Men are made, not born”. This saying gives him a lot of courage to pursue himself to find the biggest tree for Katherine.

Meanwhile, the other four hide in the unclaimed baggage room, Mr. Porter sees their crumbs and follows them, but they are so good that they hide before Mr. Porter could notice. Charlie hides in one of the baggages. While Mr. Porter is walking, he bumps in the baggage where Charlie is in and he gets angry, he orders his men to put the baggage in the conveyor. Donna notices it and after Mr. Porter and his men were gone, she hurries to the conveyor to save Charlie. Spencer and Grace follow them until they reach the room where there are lots of unclaimed baggages. They experiment with all the luggage and find cool stuff. Spencer finds a doll and wants to give it to his sister as a Christmas gift. Charlie finds walkie-talkies with video recorder. They are found and chased by airport personnel. They make it over to the hotel in time, through destroying the vents and crawling in the ceiling, to place a doll from the lost luggage room in Katherine's arms before she wakes up. They are caught and locked into separate rooms. Escaping again with the help of walkie-talkies the minors return and find time to decorate the airport with decorations the manager (a non-believer) had locked away. "Beef" returns with the largest tree he could find (by trading his most prized possession—an Aqua man toy). The minors also find presents for everyone from the lost luggage room. Their kindness manages to change the manager's heart.

Also, Spencer's and Katherine's father, an environmentalist, drives from Pennsylvania to pick up his children. When his biodiesel Benz blows up, he is forced to make the choice to either drive a Hummer or not get to his children in time. He arrives Christmas morning.

The children promise to keep in touch, and Grace, whose parents are out-of-town, is allowed to come home with the Davenports. Donna kisses Charlie, and "Beef" meets a girl, to whom he starts telling of his part in the decorations.


Actor Character
Dyllan Christopher Spencer Davenport
Tyler James Williams Charlie Goldfinch
Gina Mantegna Grace Conrad
Quinn Shephard Donna Malone
Brett Kelly Timothy "Beef" Wellington
Wilmer Valderrama Zach Van Bourke/Van Dork
Dominique Saldaña Katherine Davenport
Lewis Black Oliver Porter
Wayne Federman Airport attendant
Teri Garr Valerie's sister
Mario Lopez Part-time substitute minors watcher
Paget Brewster Valerie Davenport
Rob Corddry Sam Davenport
Jessica Walter Cindi
Rob Riggle Head Guard Hoffman
David Koechner Ernie
Tony Hale Alan Davies
Cedric Yarbrough Melvin Goldfinch
Kristen Wiig Carole Malone

External links

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