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The Blank Check Moment That Didn't Age Well

If you are a '90s kid, you probably remember a quirky, unrealistic, yet fun and popular-at-the-time Disney movie called "Blank Check." It stars child actor Brian Bonsall as Preston Waters, an 11-year-old boy who — through a series of completely accidental and unrealistic events — finds himself with $1 million of cold, hard cash burning a hole in his backpack. He spends it in the way you'd think an 11-year-old would, wasting it on frivolous things like VR headsets, a giant bouncy castle, and putting a down payment on a literal castle for himself. He ends up broke by the end of the movie, but things still turn out happily ever after for him.

Unfortunately, according to rating sites like Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb, "Blank Check" now has a special place in Disney's collection of live-action failures. Any Hollywood producer who would try to reboot this film for a nostalgic cash-grab today would have to fight quite the uphill battle. It's not just because it's the type of movie that might only appeal to audiences in the 8- to 12-year-old demographic. There's also one particular romantic subplot which comes to a head in a way that would be egregiously illegal by today's standards.

An adult woman shares a romantic kiss with an 11-year-old child -- and that's not all

FBI agent Shay Stanley (Karen Duffy), at one point in the movie, agrees to go on a "business date" with young Preston. At this point, she doesn't know that the person she's investigating — the mysterious Mr. Macintosh — is actually the fake identity that Preston creates so that it will be easier to spend his $1 million. They have a very good time at the end of the night and there's obvious chemistry between the two, which apparently flew under the creepiness radar back then. The '90s were a very, very strange time.

Modern-day audiences were understandably outraged when Tiktok user Rob Anderson reminded people about this problematic scene depicting an adult making romantic advances on a pre-teen child (via Daily Mail). What's even worse is the dialogue that happens right before the kiss. Stanley tells Preston to "give [her] a call in 10 years," implying that they can have a second date when he's legally old enough to drink. Then Preston lowballs her, saying he'll be ready in five years. 

They go back and forth until they mutually decide on six years, sealing the pact with the infamous kiss. Keep in mind that in six years, Preston would only be 17 years old, which means their relationship would still be illegal in at least 11 states (state consent laws are complicated) — but not the state of Texas, where the movie was filmed, and where, presumably, the story takes place (via Dunham Law).