Bedtime Stories – Movie Review
Directed by: Adam Shankman
Written by: Matt Lopez & Tim Herlihy
Adam Sandler , Keri Russell, Guy Pearce,
Russell Brand, Richard Griffiths, Teresa Palmer,
Lucy Lawless, Courteney Cox, Jonathan Morgan Heit,
Laura Ann Kesling
Marty Bronson (Jonathan Pryce) who raises his son and daughter on his own has to sell his homey motel to clever Barry Nottingham (Richard Griffiths) who promises to make Marty’s son manager, when he’s grown up and has proven himself. Nottingham pulls down the motel to raise a pricey hotel. Although grown up, Marty’s son Skeeter Bronson (Adam Sandler) works as a janitor and general servant, but unlikely as it seems, he still dreams of becoming the manager. When Nottingham announces a brand-new gigantic hotel project, he makes his future son-in-law, base Kendall (Guy Pierce), manager, shattering Skeeter’s dream. At the same time Skeeter’s sister Wendy (Courtney Cox) has to leave town for a job interview and asks him to alternate looking after her two children Patrick (Jonathan Morgan Heit) and Bobbi (Laura Ann Kesling) with Wendy’s responsible-minded colleague Jill (Keri Russell). He doesn’t get along with either Jill or the children, but his easy-goingness loosens them all up and once he starts telling his bedtime stories, the children grow fond of him and begin to bring in their ideas about how the stories should go. When the stories turn out to become true in real life, Skeeter tries to manoeuver the stories into a direction which will make his dream come true, too.
While I expected this movie as a wholesome family movie full of laugh, bringing kids vivid imagination unto the big screen, it was quite the opposite. Adam Sandler’s acting was pretty much the same with his past movies (though he doesn’t look as silly as the previous ones), he was pretty laid back this time around and not as obnoxious. His acting was pretty much in “Big Daddy” mode (kind of trying to serious and funny for little kids at the same time), but it didn’t translate well on the big screen.
The CGI was awesome! It truly captured what a kid imagines whenever a story is told. (I’m not sure about Spartacus though!) The Wild West, Space Adventures and Old Rome was simply amazing. There’s enough humor to go around in this movie, however it wasn’t really that funny. A bee stinging your tongue, a snot-nosed dog and a dwarf kicking you in the shins right before you kiss the girl of your dreams, really puts the movie in the “too ridiculous to happen in reality” shelf, though the movie’s premise dictates just that. (But it’s a Sandler movie! So?!) They don’t even try explain how such things happen right until the end of the movie. Yes, it a fantasy movie but even any-given-science-fiction-movie-in-history tries to explain how “magical/awesome stuff” work. And no, there no such thing as “it happens just because!” Geez, even Frodo had to wear an evil enchanted ring just to become invisible for a moment right?! And in this movie, certain weird coincidences happen just because two kids say so. Cool! Not.
However, I loved the character Bugsy! This bug-eyed guinea pig was much funnier than the lead. His comic timing was perfect and it didn’t even have to mutter a single word. Beat that! (Hmmm…. maybe it was Bugsy who made “things” happen!) It may be annoying to some adults that it was a CG creature, but I bet your young kids/ nephews/nieces will love him.
I also find it weird that the lead character still got the girl in the end. What? It was part of the Save-the-world-and-then-get-the-girl-Hollywood formula? There was no chemistry whatsoever between them. Absolutely none. When they kissed, thoughts that ran in my head was: “Of course, it wouldn’t be a happy ending without getting an out-of-your-league girl in the end.” Pffft. Adam Sandler’s character, Skeeter, wasn’t even a bit likeable/ lovable for sparks to fly. I was even rooting for Skeeters friend Russell Brand) at one point of the movie!
This movie is forgettable and was not well-written. As if they toned down Adam Sandler’s crude humor (which made him famous) and tried to make it work for this Disney Movie. Sadly, it didn’t. No, don’t rent it. The weekend will pass without regretting you ignored this film. It doesn’t leave much imagination for kids to enjoy and there’s little for them to attach themselves to anyone in the movie, how silly a character may be. The CGI sequences for the “story scenes” was great but that was it. Sorry Adam Sandler fans, but I will have to pass this one.
Darn. I can’t believe the guy that made this (Adam Shankman) was the same person who directed the hit “Hairspray“.