, 99 min, 2008
Director: Adam Shankman
Writers: Matt Lopez (screenplay) and Tim Herlihy (screenplay), Matt Lopez (story)
Stars: Adam Sandler, Keri Russell, Courteney Cox
Bedtime Stories is a relatively family-friendly Adam Sandler film that cuts pretty close to the nerves without ever so much as fraying them, and which isn’t as unbearable as you might expect.
Skeeter Bronson (Adam Sandler) was the son of a hotel owner (Jonathan Pryce) who, along with his neurotic, workaholic sister Wendy (Courteney Cox), grew up living in the family hotel. When business was bad, dear old Dad sold the hotel to mogul Barry Nottingham (Richard Griffiths from The History Boys). When he was young, Skeeter was promised a shot at running the hotel when he got old enough, but Nottingham forgot, and Skeeter was passed over for the suck-up boyfriend of Nottingham’s daughter Violet (Teresa Palmer). Now Kendall (Guy Pearce) is running things and Skeeter is simply the handyman.
When his sister separates from her husband and has to go out of town for a week, she leaves Skeeter in charge of her two kids Patrick and Bobbi (Jonathan Morgan Heit and Laura Ann Kesling). Also helping out are Wendy’s friend school teacher friend Jill (Keri Russell) and Skeeter’s room service employee pal Mickey (Russell Brand, from Forgetting Sarah Marshall).
One night, Skeeter tells the kids a story. The next day, elements seem to come true in the real world. Before long, Skeeter discovers that the kids are controlling the stories and that they are making things come true from within them. Skeeter decides to use this to his advantage to help him win a shot at a promotion to run a new hotel which is being built…oh, you know.
There isn’t really a moment of this movie worth mentioning that isn’t in the trailer. The only line of dialogue I laughed out loud at was toward the end when a girl (Aisha Tyler) who Skeeter went to high school with sees him hugging someone and says exactly what I was thinking, in the same way I was thinking it: “Aww, that’s so sweet. And creepy.”
The stories vary from forms such as Westerns, to medieval knights, to Space Opera. The film, directed by Adam Shankman (Hairspray, The Pacifier) is a goofy, formulaic family movie. As such, it isn’t precisely bad, so much as innocuous and forgettable.