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Bedtime Stories

Review by Sean Lynch
Watch Trailer : Bedtime Stories

Bedtime Stories

Bedtime Stories

Loser hotel handyman, Skeeter Bronson, has his life changed forever when the bedtime stories he tells his niece and nephew start to mysteriously come true.

Cue some expensive looking set pieces, some fun costumes, an all star cameo cast - and you've got yourself Night At The Museum Version 2.0.

If there is one thing you can say about Adam Sandler, aside from an ability to create more cash than the Australian mint, it's that he is bloody consistent.

Sure, the hoity toity critics use the guy as a punching bag (if only to fulfill their yearly quota of the words "crass" and "moronic") but if you aren't latte sipping wank (who is more than likely a failed play write)... you just can't deny that the man has charm.

Not just your run of the mill George Clooney charm either.

It's a unique sort of "Turn Your Brain Off At The Door" charm that can ease and distract a "Joe Public" popcorn audience - and only in a way that Adam Sandler can do.

So it's interesting to see that Sandler has taken one of the more inspired film premises of his career and deliver an out-and-out toddler pic.

And I don't mean "Toddler pic" in a derogatory way either, I mean it literally. Bedtime Stories could quite happily, and successfully, play as a pre-cursor to a concert by The Wiggles.

The post-Shrek era of kids cinema essentially dictated that all children's movies should have "something for the adults" as well.

The problem with this, however, is that far two many film-makers couldn't balance the mix - ultimately leaving us with films that aren't quite adult enough for the adults - and not quite kiddie enough for the kids.

Bedtime Stories is a movie aimed at a very specific and very young audience, and to it's credit, never wavers for a second.

Much like the Eddie Murphy disaster Meet Dave, the major problem this flick faces is totally misguiding it's audience via advertising.

On the surface, Bedtime Stories could quite easily be "one for the whole family" - but that's just not what is delivered.

This is pantomime in it's purest form - and a good one at that.

Any joke delivered to an audience member over the age of five is going to fall completely flat, but that's not to say the little kiddies won't eat this up and ask for seconds.

After all, pantomimes make up some of my fondest childhood memories - so there is no reason this film shouldn't be able to deliver to our current generation.

Aussie Guy Pearce delivers a pitch perfect panto villain performance (all those post-Neighbours years in the UK have finally paid off) which Sandler plays off to perfection, while Russell Brand seems somewhat underused and unecessary (if only because his charm and wit emanate from his sex jokes, which are totally absent here).

While die hard Sandler fans will get a kick out of the slew of cameos from his previous films (Nick Swardson, Alan Covert, Rob Schneider) ultimately, Bedtime Stories is a film which is bound to underwhelm those who are expecting an all-ages affair  - but for the intended age group, this puppy is Citizen Kane.

As a great man by the name of Marty McFly once said "I guess you guys aren't ready for that yet... but you're kids are gonna love it".

3 out of 5

Bedtime Stories
Australian release: 25th December, 2009
Official Site: Bedtime Stories
Cast: Adam Sandler, Keri Russell, Guy Pearce, Courteney Cox
Director: Adam Shankman

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