A brief comment on this new Adam Sandler movie: the kids at the screening loved it. It was short on affection for tofu but rich in benevolence for children. Yes, flatulance caused much laughter, but so did the guinea pig with really big eyes. He was like the squirrel in the Ice Age films; no one knew why he was there, but that little beast became the funniest character in the franchise.*
Sandler plays Skeeter, a would be hotel manager who is stuck as a lowly maintenance man. He dreams that the hotel owner will keep his promise to Skeeter’s dad that the young man will one day be the manager. Skeeter must care for his niece and nephew for a week while their mom looks for a new job.
This is not a brilliant movie but Sandler doesn’t over-do his goofiness; he is kindness itself for the kids.
On the “bedtime story” meter, it ranks quite low; the fantasy sequences are silly. But the interesting thing is that as Sandler tells his stories, the kids “rewrite them” with what they think are the right endings. I liked the way Sandler interacted with the kids and listened to them as they imagined their stories (that turned true in “real life”).
The little kids in the audience loved it and so did teens even though they didn’t want to admit it. I walked out with two young teeen boys and one of them said, “That movie was really lame.” I asked them, “Then why are you smiling?” And they started laughing.
One thing that disappointed me about the film is its lack of ethnic diversity in the principle actors; Disney usually makes a real effort to represent audiences in its films. Something to talk about….
* I am not suggesting there should be a Bedtime Story franchise … heavens! But there may be a future for that guinea pig!