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BEDTIME STORIES, 2008
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BEDTIME STORIES MOVIE POSTER
BEDTIME STORIES
Movie Review

Directed by Adam Shankman
Starring: Adam Sandler, Keri Russell, Guy Pearce, Russell Brand, Lucy Lawless, Courteney Cox
Review by Matthew Toffolo



SYNOPSIS:

A family comedy about a hotel handyman whose life changes when the lavish bedtime stories he tells his niece and nephew start to magically come true.

REVIEW:

The last song of a film is suppose to summarize the overall theme of the movie. So as the last image is seen and they go to the closing credits, the song that brings the film to its conclusion gives us that overall feeling of what we just saw. The last song of Bedtime Stories? Don't Stop Believing by Journey. The same song that concluded the series run of The Sopranos. What do Bedtime Stories and The Sopranos have in common? Nothing.

Don't Stop Believing tells the viewer that Bedtime Stories is about the greatness of all storytelling in general and for all the kids out there to let your imagination flow as anything is possible. And that's a very good story for Disney to tell the children and their parents who will see this film.

In its basic sense, Bedtime Stories is about how our imagination becomes reality. I love this concept because my own imagination becomes reality all the time. Not to get too Dr. Phil, but yes, what we ask for does usually happen. So our mind and souls can really create the reality we live in.

Of course Disney and their film Bedtime Stories doesn't go all the way this its idea. They kind of sold out and really underestimated the intelligence of their viewer. And the only way for them to get to stop doing this is to NOT see this film. It's a wasted picture unfortunately and it's another classic tale of how Hollywood really under performs a great idea for a kids film.

In fact, this is such a great concept, I hope someone else decides to redo it in a few years time. Kids these days definitely need to go into their creative psyche and make up stories on their own. I am a believer that we all have a Star Wars type of story inside of us all. And there's nothing like a Disney Hollywood movie to show kids the way.

Bedtime Stories is low on comedy too. They found a bug-eyed Hamster who is the kids pet to attempt to perform most of the jokes in the film. The Hamster is Curly to Adam Sandler's Moe in Bedtime Stories. If a scene is few on humor (and an overall point), the filmmakers just go to a close-up of the Hamster to try to earn laughs from the audience. Pretty low grade stuff.

From a structured point of view, Bedtime Stories is also a puzzler. There is a long 25-30 minute setup in the 90 minute film and only at 10 minute conclusion where there is really no giant obstacle for our main character to overcome. Very anti-climatic. So I wonder what happened in the shooting of this film. Did they overspend on the CGI effects and miss out on some of the emotional beats when shooting the ending scenes so they couldn't go back and do any reshoots?

Strange casting choices too. Adam Sandler and Keri Russell have no sexual chemistry at all. There needed to be a recast done because these two characters need to have something going on in order for this film to work. Of course Sandler wasn't going to get canned, so Russell need to be the one to go. She's a solid actress, but you can tell she wasn't attracted to the Sandman at all. Images don't lie.

I am a fan of Adam Sandler. He's made funny films. But it seems to be only when he's not trying to be the cool guy. Whenever he plays that socially awkward type, he is gold. But like Ben Stiller, who has also made millions playing the loser type, Sandler seems to now want to be Fonzie.

But you have to love his loyalty. He always works with the same crew and always seems to cast his friends in the other roles in the film. Where would Rob Schneider be without him?

Sandler was on The Dan Patrick Show just recently (CLICK HERE to listen to the interview), and talked about how he probably is done playing the young man roles. Patrick, another close friend of Sandler, who also makes cameos playing cops usually in all of Sandler's films, got Adam to talk about his desire and need to go to another actor level. Sandler said that he felt weird a lot of the time filming Bedtime Stories because he's not that juvenile person anymore. Bottomline, the run is over for him to pull off those characters.

So what's next for Adam Sandler? Jack Nicholson told him to start playing supporting characters in films so he can find his new actor grammar. Then, Nicholson says, the people can see you in a different light and you can jump back into the main character route and play different roles. Nicholson's career advice is interesting. People only see Sandler as one thing and it's not like he can start doing Hamlet without audiences scratching their heads. His audience has grown up and it's not like they are going to see Bedtime Stories. So where does he go now? After all, it's not just about him. If he falls, so does all of his colleagues, followers and collaborators.

Bedtime Stories stinks. I hate to be that cruel, but it's just not a good film for anyone to see.

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