Eric Gores, who costars in The Kid & I, doesn't weigh 39 pounds. He was, however, born with cerebral palsy and appears to be a cheerful, well-adjusted young man. Ergo he is celebrated ceaselessly as an inspiration to the unafflicted. In this Möbius strip of a cloying indie project, Gores plays one Aaron Roman, a teenager with CP who inspires the unafflicted by acting beside them in a True Lies-like movie commissioned by his rich father (Joe Mantegna). In the movie-within-a-movie, Gores' Roman stars as an action hero with CP. Tom Arnold, formerly of True Lies, is a washed-up, suicidal actor who writes the script and costars with the kid.
Arnold did in fact write and produce The Kid & I; he lives next door to Gores, whose rich father funded the picture. The similarly inspired (and, one assumes, remunerated) include Linda Hamilton, Henry Winkler, and a startling cast of bigwigs in cameo appearances. Wayne's World's Penelope Spheeris directs and also plays herself, in a movie with a message as self-congratulatory as it is meta: All problems are surmountable when selfless Hollywooders work extra, extra hard, pulling together ''for the kid.''