Bedtime Stories, directed by Adam Shankman and starring Adam Sandler, is the timeless tale of a jerk uncle with a big heart that simultaneously tries to win the affection of his niece and nephew while furthering his career in the hotel biz by telling them fantastic bedtime stories that are somehow magically coming true. That run-on sentence is the premise of Mr. Sandler's second foray into theaters this year. While I haven't seen the poorly recieved You Don't Mess with Zohan, I believe that Bedtime Stories will fare much better in the box office and with his fans. It already won over this moviegoer.
Going into the movie, I wasn't too excited. The trailers for this movie looked corny, and over the years I've slowly lost interest in Sandler's onscreen antics. The last Sandler film that I genuinely loved was Big Daddy. Unfortunately, since then I've found his films to be hit and miss. I thought 50 First Dates was fun but I had to force myself to sit through Chuck and Larry. Don't get me wrong, Sandler's a funny guy. He just hasn't been able to re-capture the magic that made Happy Gilmore and Billy Madison such classics.
I know I'm not the only one out there that feels this way. If you're in the same boat, you should be pleasantly surprised. I though that this role was perfect for Sandler. It allowed him the chance to be a big goof in all the 'stories' that he tells without making him appear stupid in the rest of the film. Throughout the main story of the film he comes off as a slightly more intelligent PG take on Happy Gilmore as someone's uncle. He even made me wish he was my uncle. And in my opinion, that's what really makes this movie shine.
I could go on about why I loved Adam Sandler in this movie, but there's a lot of other things to like about this movie too. I though the cast was great. Russell Brand was fun as Sandler's odd friend, Jonathan Pryce was a pleasant surprise, and it always makes me feel good to see Lucy Lawless get work post-Xena. My only complaint here was that I felt Guy Pearce wasn't utilized to his full potential. He's a good actor, but he's limited to being Adam Sandler's snooty upper-class superior at work. He does have a few chances to shine. Not enough for my tastes, but I'm just nitpicking now. This is a children's movie after all.
The MOST IMPORTANT thing about Bedtime Stories is that it's fun and appealing for the whole family. There's a nice balance of adult funny and kid funny that'll keep everyone happy. I found myself laughing out loud as much as the kids in the audience, much to my own surprise. I highly recommend this film to anyone looking for a film to take their kids to this holiday season. Or just for a laugh or two.