Bedtime Stories (English)

Cast: Adam Sandler, Courtney Cox, Guy Pearce, Keri Russell, Russell Brand

Director: Adam Shankman

Adam Sandler has decided to make a movie his children can enjoy. We saw this phenomenon earlier when Eddie Murphy decided to go into the family film genre. And like Murphy (“Dr. Doolittle” comes to mind), Sandler’s first foray into family-friendly movies is a rather tepid affair.

Sandler plays Skeeter Bronson, a hotel handyman, who is forever passed over by the evil developer Barry Nottingham, who favours the oily Kendall. When Skeeter’s sister has to go out of town, he has to look after his nephew and niece. They are your usual stuck up, sulky children till a little of Skeeter’s magic rubs on them and they learn to hang loose and eat junk food. In the middle of all this there are Skeeter’s bedtime stories to the children that seem to have an uncanny knack of coming true.

The effects are nothing to write home about and British comedian Russell Brand looks out of sorts here. And what was Guy Pearce doing in the film? Chewing up the scenery as Kendall, Pearce seems to be doing penance for some unspecified crime. Sandler regular Rob Schneider makes his obligatory appearance. The only excitement was seeing Lucy Lawless (remember her as Xena, warrior princess?) as an evil, barracuda-kind of woman.

The jokes are tame, the plot meandering, the effects half-hearted and actors sleepwalk through their roles lead by a strangely-constrained Sandler. Those looking for “Zohan” type humour from Sandler are going to be disappointed and those looking for wholesome family fare, even more so.