Rated PG for some mild rude humor and mild language.
Directed By: Adam Shankman
Written By: Matt Lopez
Staring: Adam Sandler, Keri Russell, Guy Pearce, Russell Brand, Courteney Cox, Lucy Lawless, Teresa Palmer, Richard Griffiths, and Jonathan Pryce
What do ya got here, anyways? “Rainbow Alligator Saves the Wetlands”? Uh, no. “The Organic Squirrel Gets a Bike Helmet”? I’m not reading these Communist books to you guys! Don’t you got any *real* stories? -Skeeter Bronson
Bedtime Stories starts with some promise. Both director Adam Shankman and Adam Sandler have a sweetness that they bring to all of their films. This combined with a unique concept seemed to place Bedtime Stories easily into the family genres better movies. There were some successes in this movie but also some failures. It wasn’t as kid friendly as advertised and there was definitely more of a focus on slapstick comedy rather than the magical essence that was the supposed influence of the entire story.
It starts off with an older man losing his hotel to a huge hotel conglomerate. The owner promises to take care of his grandson and lets him know that he will always have a job in the place. As it happens that job turns out to be a custodial engineer. He pleasantly does his piece while making friends with other hotel staff when his estranged sister calls him and asks for a favor. Her ex-husband (the reason for the bro and sis estrangement) leaves town and while she has to leave do to a job interview her brother becomes her only source of childcare. At first he can’t find a way to connect with the young children but then reaches into his heart and tells them Bedtime Stories to get them to sleep. This is all normal until the next day the events in the dream begin to transpire in his real life, but not so exact as one would think.
It seems like this would be incredibly funny especially with Adam Sandler headlining, but everything felt dulled down. The slapstick comedy wasn’t even fully there. Even Adam Sandler and his typical antics didn’t quite fit in, and obviously he can pull sweet and funny off in spades. His likable vulnerability was ever present, but it just felt like a less enthused version of other characters he’s played before, and unfortunately the romance felt out of place and forced.
The romance in the story feels unbalanced. Why is it necessary to throw a love affair into every film in this genre? Family films or comedies somehow require a romance in each storyline now, and I can’t comprehend why such anunnecessary thing must be forced in for the sake of having it exist. Lately this has been ruining movies for me, and while it didn’t ruin Bedtime Stories it gave it a feeling of typical lameness that I just findunforgivable anymore.
By the end I was bored and wanted to turn it off. The film just felt off balance and felt put together in a very clinical way. For a film about connecting with your inner child and searching for your destiny it had very little heart. It still had it’s enjoyable moments and an undeniable sweetness that exuded through some of the story telling and of course AdamSandler , but it never felt special. Even though this wasn’t a bad movie I don’t really feel comfortable recommending based on the fact that it’s completely forgettable.