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December 31, 2008 > Movie Review: Bedtime Stories

Movie Review: Bedtime Stories

By Susana Nunez

Rated PG

Disney has officially gotten lazy. What could have been an amazing story turned out to be a sad excuse for a fairy tale. The premise seemed promising enough, but the poor writing and casting caused the movie to sink deeper and deeper, until you really just wanted it to end. As the lead actor, Adam Sandler did his usual shtick. And of course, some of the Adam Sandler gang (Rob Schneider and Allen Covert) made predictable cameos. This old and tired trick added nothing to the dynamic of the story, and made one wonder what happened to Adam Sandler and if he has any creativity left.

The story is about a boy named Skeeter (Adam Sandler) who grows up living in the hotel his father owns. He has always been fascinated with the many novelties of their hotel life and looks forward to the day he is old enough to take over the family business. However, his father begins to have financial problems and sells the hotel to a larger hotel giant, Barry Nottingham (Richard Griffiths). Barry promises to allow Skeeter to run the hotel once he's old enough but instead, cheats Skeeter out of the position and employs him as the maintenance man. Skeeter doesn't believe he'll ever get the chance to prove himself worthy of running the hotel. However, when Skeeter is asked to baby-sit his niece and nephew, he rediscovers his aspirations and theirs as well. Together they create stories that play out in Skeeter's life and, he hopes, fix his own real-life situation.

Now this all sounds fine and good but it didn't play out as one would imagine. First of all, Adam Sandler wasn't funny. This could be because the movie is a Disney Production and they may have asked him to deliver straight-laced humor for a children's audience. But even so, this is not a valid excuse. If Sandler isn't able to deliver clean humor successfully, he should stray from trying to make children's films and stick to his usual brand of comedy. Audiences aren't going to keep turning out in numbers if Sandlder continues to make boring films. This movie lacks creativity; nothing about it was memorable or special. The scenes looked great but a movie isn't worth watching if there is no story.

The casting was also poorly thought out. Sandler's love interest in the film was Keri Russell, a bland actress with nothing extra to offer. Whoever's bright idea it was to cast her as his co-star failed to notice that these two do not look good together on screen and there's no chemistry between them. The children who played Sandler's niece and nephew were typical bright-eyed kids, also nothing to gush at or wow about. Overall, it appears that Disney thought a mediocre story and a big name like Adam Sandler were enough to make a sellable movie. Disney will make its money of course, but the film doesn't deserve to be in the list of Disney classics or must-see Disney films.

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