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Bedtime Stories (2008)

Bedtime Stories. Feature film. (2008, 99 mins) IMDB

...a tame comedy that results in few laughs...

T

here's the young Adam Sandler as a boy living with his sister in a small hotel in LA. His father owns and operates it. Sandler helps out. The dream of father and son is for the son to take over some day except there's a problem. The father isn't a very good manager and the place isn't making enough money. Enter the villain to buy it off him. The villain being a Mr. Hilton type who is able to turn lead into gold.

Fast forward twenty years or so. The hotel is a large, thriving business, but for Sandler, instead of owning it or even managing it, he's the custodian who repairs broken dishwashers and replaces burnt-out light bulbs. The promise by the villain to put him in charge was either forgotten or ignored.

Enter his estranged sister. She's a health freak with two young children. The father left a long time ago. Part of the humour for the film comes from the extreme discipline the mother places on her children. The brother tries to mess with it by allowing them to eat foods with fat or sugar and to watch TV. He's involved with the children because the mother is away for a week and he gets to baby-sit in the evening while a love interest manages the kids during the day.

To add juice to the story, Sandler makes up bedtime stories for the kids. He discovers the kids are better story tellers. It reminded me of THE PRINCESS BRIDE because what is told happens on screen. Further, he discovers that whatever the kids make up in the story comes true later in his real life and he tries to direct them into saying things he wants like getting the girl and taking over as manager and that's what happens.

Since there's a love story embedded into this fantasy, there's a second woman to complete the triangle. She's a Paris Hilton type and it fits because we're dealing with the hotel business.

The film is mildly entertaining and mildly humourous but nothing special. Despite the title, I doubt kids would get it, let alone enjoy it, but I could be wrong.

Given the premise they had to work with, the film could have been so much better.

The character I enjoyed the best was a guinea pig with bugling eyes all thanks to CGI.

Why have actors with British accents as the villains in this film? It's become so common as to be a cliché. It didn't make sense in this film but it's typical.

Finally, in one story we're told it takes place in Ancient Greece but the visuals show us Romans etc. How could that mistake be mad?

Posted 2009/05/14 at 19h54ET in Movie Commentary.

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