Bedtime Stories

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Release Date: December 25, 2008
Runtime: 99 minutes
Rating: PG
Studio: Disney
Director: Adam Shankman
Cast: Adam Sandler; Keri Russell; Courteney Cox; Russell Brand; Guy Pearce; Teresa Palmer; Richard Griffiths; Lucy Lawless

A frothy, family-friendly entertainment that is lively enough for the kids and easy-to-swallow for the adults.

This isn’t your typical Adam Sandler juvenile, fart-humor movie. It actually has its heart in the right place and manages to be a sweet, if inconsequential, movie. I saw it about three or four days ago and I can hardly remember it.

That doesn’t matter though. Suffice it to say that Adam Sandler is Skeeter (we never find out if that’s his real name or a nickname), a maintenance man at a luxury hotel that in its previous incarnation was a charming little sidewalk motel (on the corner of La Cienega and Santa Monica in LA, natch!) owned by Skeeter’s dear old dad. Skeeter’s sister, Wendy (Courteney Cox), has just been laid off from her job as principal at an elementary school and needs Skeeter to watch her two kids for a few days while she looks for work in Arizona. Various shenanigans ensue.

One thing Skeeter does right is tell the kids bedtime stories, just like his dad used to tell to him. However, in the tradition of “Jumanji” and “Night at the Museum,” the stories have a way of coming to life, making for a very interesting courtship of perky love interest, Jill (Keri Russell), Wendy’s best friend and co-worker.

The premise is a cute idea and is handled by director Adam Shankman (“Hairspray,” “The Wedding Planner”) with sufficient cuteness to make the kids laugh and not bore the adults to tears. I even chuckled a little. The film obviously had a sizable budget, which shows in some of the “story” sequences, such as when Skeeter is positioned as a gladiator in ancient Rome. Co-stars Cox, Russell, Russell Brand, Guy Pearce, Teresa Palmer, Richard Griffiths, and others are all very game and, thankfully, they don’t seem to be “acting” so much as “appearing.” That’s a plus in a movie like this; this is not high drama…it’s all very innocuous and innocent.

However, I thought it would be fair to include some comments from two guest contributors who are more in line with this movie’s target demographic.

Nephew, age 12: ““Bedtime Stories” makes for a perfect family movie night with jokes that will make the kids laugh and Adam Sandler pulls it all together.”

Niece, age 9: “A fun, family movie that will make you laugh with great effects, complete with a bug-eyed guinea pig!”

There you have it.

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