‘Bedtime Stories’ - a boring fare (Film Review - Rating: **)

January 30th, 2009 - 7:49 pm ICT by IANS  

Film: “Bedtime Stories”; Cast: Adam Sandler, Guy Pearce, Courtney Cox, Russell Brand, Keri Russell; Director: Adam Shankman; Rating: **”Bedtime Stories” has a workable formula, but falls far short of the movie it could have been. Adam Sandler returns to play a boy-man and does nothing to make us connect with him or care for the movie he stars in.

Being a children’s movie, it tries to explore the power of magic and imagination, but instead settles into dull fare.

There are also some fine actors like Guy Pearce, Lucy Lawless and Keri Russell, who get wasted here. Pearce was very impressive in “LA Confidential” and “Memento”.

For that matter, even Sandler has impressed far more in movies like “Punch-Drunk Love” and “Spanglish”. Courtney Cox plays a forgettable role and is going to have to try harder to break into movies. The only bright spot is Russel Brand, the controversial British comic, who manages to bring in a light humorous touch.

Sandler plays Skeeter, whose father owed a hotel but had to sell it off to avoid bankruptcy. He tries to move his way up to become a manager to fulfil a promise made to his father years ago. But he has to contend with the likes of the wily Kendall (Guy Pearce).

Skeeter soon finds out that the bedtime stories he tells his nephew and niece come true, but only the parts which they add. So he now tries to win the competition which determines who runs the hotel by manipulating the stories.

There is a bit of special effects trying to add some magic to the movie, but the over all plot doesn’t seem to quite evoke the necessary magic. The magic works within the confines of the plot, but doesn’t spill out of the screen to astound us.

Children might find the comedy amusing, but adults will want to be entertained on a more mature level which the movie fails to deliver. The low point is a flatulent bug-eyed guinea pig.

Sandler doesn’t seem to have the charm or the endearing qualities that would have made his character more appealing. There is also no chemistry at all between him and his love interest Jill ( Russell).

The one positive of this movie is that it reminds children of the power of imagination. This theme is explored well with the help of special effects. This central theme, but itself is commendable but everything else around it fails. If children can catch in to this theme, the movie would have succeeded on some level.

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