The film focuses on a group of elementary school students in Syracuse, New York, led by Natalie Brandston (Zena Grey), who get a snow day, and try to keep their school snowed in and closed by stopping a snowplow driver (Chris Elliott) from plowing the streets. Meanwhile, her older brother, Hal (Mark Webber), tries to win the heart of high school sweetheart, Claire Bonner (Emmanuelle Chriqui), with the help of his best friend, Lane Leonard (Schuyler Fisk), who secretly harbors feelings for him. Also, their father, Tom (Chevy Chase), is a TV meteorologist who must face off against a rival one, Chad Symmonz (John Schneider), in order to have the right of continuing his career. Their workaholic mother, Laura (Jean Smart), is stuck at home with her mischievous son, Randy.
Eventually, Natalie and her friends, Wayne (Josh Peck) and Chet (Jade Yorker), take over the plow and "unplow" the streets (move all the snow back in the way). After endless love demonstrations (and being rescued by Natalie), Hal finds out he, in fact, loves Lane. He is even encouraged by Claire to go after her. Tom unmasks Chad on live TV, showing the viewers that he is fake, winning his status back. Chad is arrested and Laura takes the day off from work to look after Randy.
This is the first of two films to star both Josh Peck and Zena Grey, the other being Max Keeble's Big Move, released the following year.
The film was filmed in Cedarburg, Wisconsin, as well as Edmonton and Calgary, Alberta. It was originally planned to be one based on the television series The Adventures of Pete & Pete, but this idea was aborted and it was rewritten as a stand-alone story.
The film opened at number 3 at the North American box office making $14.3 million USD in its opening weekend behind The Beach and Scream 3, which was on its second week at the top spot. It was a modest box office success, earning $60,020,107 in its domestic run and has grossed $62,464,731 worldwide.
The film received mostly negative reviews from critics. Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gave it a "Rotten" rating of 28% based on 65 reviews, with an average score of 4.2/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Weak assembly of characters and story lines made it forgettable and silly." Metacritic gave it a score of 34% based on 22 reviews, indicating "Generally unfavorable reviews".
The film's soundtrack peaked at number 183 on the Billboard 200 chart.
The following songs were included in the film but not featured on the soundtrack:Al Martino – "Love Letters", "Fascination" and "To Each His Own"
Irving Berlin – "Heat Wave"
Smash Mouth – "Satellite"
Ernest Gold – "The Big W"
Simon Chardiet – "Drag Blob"
The Wiseguys – "Ooh La La"
Schuyler Fisk – "It's Not Her"
The Brian Setzer Orchestra – "Switchblade 327"