06 January 2009

Bedtime Stories

Well, this past weekend, my younger brother and his girlfriend came to visit his two older siblings. They wanted to go see Bedtime Stories, which I was glad to hear. That allowed me to talk my better half into seeing it. So, the four of us went to a theater that I do not usually attend. This was due to the fact that said brother and girlfriend are not early risers at the rest of us.

Bedtime Stories opens with a quick “fairy tale” about the history of the hotel. This is also the only time that Jonathan Pryce is seen on screen. He is the father of Skeeter and Wendy. He has his own hotel. But apparently he is not a good business man, and he gets bought out by Hilton-esque hotel baron Barry Nottingham, played by Harry Potter Alum Richard Griffiths. We then jump to current times.

Skeeter, played by Adam Sandler, is still working for the hotel chain even though he is still at the bottom of the corporate ladder. While attending the birthday party of his niece Bobbi, he is asked by his sister Wendy, Friends’ Courtney Cox, to watch Bobbi and her younger brother Patrick while she goes to Arizona to seek employment due to her school being shut down. Skeeter is to watch them at night, and Wendy’s friend and co-worker Jill, played by Keri Russell of Felicity fame, will take them to school and bring them home.

That night, Skeeter is asked to tell a story, as his own father used to do. The next day, the ending comes true. So, this gives Skeeter an idea. He tries to rig the stories’ endings. This backfires as he realizes that the children control the ending. It was entertaining to see how each ending was slightly twisted to make it believable. For instance, the first night it rains gumballs. The next day, while stopped under an overpass, it begins to “rain” gumballs. But as the scene backs out, you see that a gumball delivery truck is wrecked into the railing, spilling the gumballs into the rain down below.

In the meantime, his rival Kendall, played by Guy Pearce, is dating Barry’s daughter, Paris wannbe Violet. He is set to take over the newest hotel in the Nottingham chain; a job that Skeeter wants and deserves. After a slight oversight by Kendall, Skeeter and he are in a competition to come up the best them for the new hotel. So, as Skeeter tries to lure his niece and nephew into telling a story where he wins and has a great idea, Kendall and his fellow conspirator Aspen, played by Xena herself Lucy Lawless, find out where the new hotel is going, and exploit that.

Each night the stories grow a little more absurd, but it is Disney. Along the way, Skeeter misinterprets some of the endings and the meanings. This allows for some hilarity to ensue. Again, since it is a Disney movie, Skeeter and Jill have to fall in love. That comes into play at the end.

Most of the budget would have had to go to special effects and sets required for the story sequences. That is too bad. While the concept of the story is not bad, the script was a bit too childish. There was little offered to the parents who were no-doubt in the audience with their children. As far as actual laughter, I laughed a few times. Not as much as I would have expected from an Adam Sandler film, but I did laugh more than my wife. She thought the funniest part in the film was the guy snoring behind us. Apparently, he was really tired; that is what he told the wife. Verdict: A rental is more than enough for this child film. If you choose to avoid it all together, that is also okay.

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