'Bedtime Stories' stars Adam Sandler, Keri Russell, Guy Pearce

Discussion in 'Disney News, Rumors and Current Events' started by Sheila Gallant-Halloran, Dec 26, 2008.

  1. http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertain ... 9891.story
    'Bedtime Stories' stars Adam Sandler, Keri Russell, Guy Pearce
    Rating: 2 stars (fair)
    By Michael Phillips | Tribune critic
    December 25, 2008
    "Bedtime Stories" is clean enough to fly the Walt Disney Pictures flag, yet it's full of bimbos and cleavage and shots of Adam Sandler getting kicked in the shins by a dwarf. In between little-person attacks, our Everyman character suffers the merciless insults of his social betters. Hostility and pathos make for a very popular combination in comedy. It worked for Chaplin, and it works for Sandler, who may not be the new Chaplin—clearly that title belongs to Rob Schneider, who turns up in a couple of cameos here—but who has his own proven Midas touch.

    The premise recalls a Jerry Lewis vehicle from the early '60s. Sandler plays Skeeter, an L.A. hotel handyman under the thumb of a germaphobe owner (Richard Griffiths) and a weasel of a manager (Guy Pearce) who is dating the boss' Paris Hiltonesque daughter (Teresa Palmer) while stepping out with a fellow hotel employee (Lucy Lawless, unrecognizable from her Xena days).

    Skeeter and his sister (Courteney Cox) grew up in a motel bungalow court, and when their father (Jonathan Pryce, who narrates) sold out to the Griffiths character, he promised the business to Skeeter. But no. The handyman longs, years later, for a crack at running the hotel built on the old bungalow court's site. Now the ruthless owners plan to raze the elementary school where Skeeter's sister works as principal.

    While Sis is away, Skeeter must baby-sit his niece and nephew. The adventure stories Skeeter spins for his initially skeptical charges range from knights in shining armor, to the Old West, to "Star Wars"-type derring-do. As directed by Adam Shankman, who fared very nicely with the musical "Hairspray," the film's fantasy vignettes offer a few laughs, though they never dominate the movie the way they should. The idea is that the stories, where anything can happen, somehow manage to improve Skeeter's real life, which has been clouded with disappointment. It's an adequate idea, dutifully delivered, and "Bedtime Stories" is precisely the sort of thing big stars get interested in once they become parents and want their offspring to talk about something other than Dad ogling Jessica Biel's buttocks in "I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry."


    MPAA rating: PG (for some mild rude humor and mild language)

    Running time: 1:35

    Opening: Thursday

    Starring: Adam Sandler (Skeeter Bronson); Keri Russell (Jill); Guy Pearce (Kendall); Russell Brand (Mickey); Richard Griffiths (Mr. Nottingham); Jonathan Pryce (Marty); Courteney Cox (Wendy); Lucy Lawless (Aspen); Teresa Palmer (Violet).

    Directed by: Adam Shankman; written by Matt Lopez and Tim Herlihy; photographed by Michael Barrett; edited by Tom Costain and Michael Tronick; production design by Linda DeScenna; music by Rupert Gregson-Williams; produced by Andrew Gunn, Sandler and Jack Giarraputo. A Walt Disney Pictures release.
  2. Bedtime Stories: Better suited to a kegger crowd

    A family friendly Disney movie is far from a natural habitat for the sort of crude, belligerent characters that have long been Adam Sandler's forte. Nope, wings night at Hooters is more their style.

    Nevertheless, Hollywood logic demands that if Night at the Museum can make an inoffensive hero out of an actor previously best known for getting his nether parts caught in a zipper, then surely there's a way to make the man-child behind Happy Gilmore safe enough for actual children to enjoy.

    It's no surprise then that the two main ingredients in Bedtime Stories – colourful, holiday-appropriate schmaltz and Sandler's aggressively sophomoric brand of comedy – don't always coalesce. In fact, it sometimes feels as if the Museum-like fantasy scenes belong in a whole other movie than the jokes about angry dwarves and little girls being described as "hot."

    Yet Sandler's insistence on retaining his Sandler-ness despite the cuddly context is also what makes Bedtime Stories watchable – wildly erratic, the movie's also very funny in the rare moments when the hybrid proves viable.

    Sandler plays Skeeter Bronson, a handyman at a Los Angeles hotel that used to belong to his late father. Though Skeeter still believes that new owner Barry Nottingham (Richard Griffiths) will someday make good on his promise to Skeeter's pop to let him run the place, he's unlikely to usurp Kendall (Guy Pearce), the slick, sycophantic manager who's dating Nottingham's socialite daughter Violet (Teresa Palmer).

    Skeeter's also not much of a family man. But when his sister Wendy (Courteney Cox) has to go out of town, he plays dad to her kids Bobbi (Laura Ann Kesling) and Patrick (Jonathan Morgan Heit), sharing the responsibility with Jill (Keri Russell), his sister's friend and his soon-to-be love interest.

    Since his storybook options have names like The Organic Squirrel Wears a Bike Helmet, Skeeter opts to do what his father did with him, and spins some fresh yarns for the moppets. Elements of the stories he tells – rendered on screen in a variety of movie styles, from Monty Python-esque medieval tale to Spaceballs-y science-fiction spoof – soon appear for real.

    What's most amusing about it is the manner in which Skeeter attempts to manipulate this unexplained phenomenon for his own ends: His storytelling increasingly involves free sports cars, women in bikinis and cameos for Rob Schneider.

    Of course, Skeeter is not rewarded for his more selfish inclinations – instead, his attempts to direct events have increasingly chaotic results. That he's kind of a jerk about it all is oddly refreshing for a Disney hero.

    Likewise, the movie's wilder comedic impulses give the proceedings some spark. Russell Brand, the British comedian who stole Forgetting Sarah Marshall with his turn as a sleazy but affable rock star, provides many of the best moments as Skeeter's dim-witted best mate. As for Sandler, he manages to mollify his more abrasive tendencies without going too soft. Ironically, the results are less sappy than some of his nominally more adult-oriented hits like Big Daddy and Click.

    Unfortunately, all this makes Bedtime Stories more of a Sandler movie than a Disney one. Judged as a piece of family entertainment, it's too haphazard and poorly paced to satisfy viewers too young to have ever attended a kegger.
  3. Ham Ham

    Ham Ham Member

    Not a ; fan ; Adam Sandler's film work, crude humor and trying to turn an SNL bit into a whole film, but as my college film teacher said "it's a good movie if you care what happens to the characters". Through out the film I was engaged and interested in his characters outcome.

    I was pleasantly surprised with Bedtime Stories ; the Hamettes and I ; saw it this afternoon. Preparing myself for the usual Sanlder shtick it caught me off guard how sympathetic, earnest and yet rough around the edges his character was.

    No Oscar award winner but delivered some good belly laughs

    Spoiler Alert the only joke involving bodily function was delivered by Bugsy the guinea pig.

  4. highland3

    highland3 Member

    Thanks for the review. ; I've been wondering about this one!!!
  5. rjan67

    rjan67 Member

    I just saw this one yesterday. I thought it was "good" for a family movie ;). It is pure Adam Sandler but the kids loved it and there were a few good laughs even though they were mostly about the guinea pig! I give it a 7/10 in terms of it being a family movie that all can enjoy! Lots of "kid" humour. There is a new Night at the Museum coming out on Memorial Day that looks pretty good!
  6. Just saw it with my family. ; Was a little long for DD2 (~3), but we all loved it. ; DD2 even said it was "great," and DD9 wonders if there'll be a sequel. ; We all really enjoyed it as a nice family movie.

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