Bedtime Stories

Year: 2009
Studio: Walt Disney
Director: Adam Shankman
Writer: Matt Lopez/Tim Herlihy
Cast: Adam Sandler, Keri Russell, Guy Pearce, Theresa Palmer, Richard Griffiths, Lucy Lawless, Courteney Cox, Jonathan Pryce

Exactly what you'd expect an Adam Sandler Disney movie to be. A lot of kid and animal appeal, warm and squishy premise and morals and whatever slight sense of edginess Sandler once had but has steadily drained away as a big studio comic for hire.

He plays a dolt who's grown up in a hotel run by his loving, natural storyteller Dad which has now been taken over by a faceless corporation complete with a cardboard cut-out, smarmy, bootlick company-man type in Guy Pearce.

A mere maintenance man - complete with kooky best friend in sell-out Russel Brand - he's left minding his sister's kids for the week, and when he makes up bedtime stories to entertain them, the bizarre incidents they make up start coming true in real life including a rain of gumballs, rescue of a fair maiden, a bee sting that renders him unable to speak and more wacky plot turns.

Realising he can use the stories as a way to get his life on track and take over the hotel, he has the rest of the week to encourage the kids to spin wildly inventive stories of his success, and of course it all comes together with him doing the right thing, getting the girl, saving the day and being the hero in indomitable Disney style.

There are a few laughs but it's kids comedy formula 101 all the way. Sandler proved long ago he's incapable of much more than this until he can move into the orbit of directors like P T Anderson, but Aussies Guy Pearce and up and coming 'it' girl Theresa Palmer should both be catastrophically embarrassed for stooping to this after proving their dramatic (and comic) mettle elsewhere. There's a whole Disney chequebook somewhere with each one made out to 'whore' for people like them.

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