Bedtime Stories (95 minutes) is Adam Sandler’s first Disney movie.  Even though critics aren’t loving it, the screening I attended was packed with kids (carrying a whole lot of cold germs), parents (who covered their ears and cried a little when the Jonas Brothers concert was advertised), not-so-hip young people (who laughed when the trailer for Paul Blart: Mall Cop came on) and hip young people (who laughed ironically when the trailer for Paul Blart: Mall Cop came on). 
    I was predisposed to LOVE this movie however much it failed to entertain, because it was directed by Adam Shankman. After viewing his Prop 8: The Musical (funnyordie.com) I instantly forgave him his involvement with The Pacifier and resolved to love without question his next three projects, which means you can also look forward to stellar reviews of Hairspray 2 and Topper in 2010.
    Before we continue on to the actual film though, a note to its female stars is in order. Dear Keri Russell, you were in an awesome movie about pie, and people like you. Please note that your arms should be thicker around than a chicken bone. 
    {mosimage}Dear Courtney Cox, you are married to a very funny guy and laughing is meant to cause wrinkles. Botox is a toxic substance, and you should probably stop using it so that your facial expressions can return.
    Dear Xena: Warrior Princess, you look great, you did fine. When is Battlestar Galactica returning?
    On to the review!  A man named Marty Bronson (Jonathan Pryce) had a dream. That dream was to raise his little family in his little motel in Los Angeles. Unfortunately, Marty didn’t go to business school, and when his motel begins to fail Barry Nottingham (Harry Potter’s uncle, Richard Griffiths) buys him out and promises that his son can run the new motel he is erecting in its place.  Marty’s son Skeeter (Adam Sandler) spends the next 20 years or so working in that hotel.
    One day, Skeeter’s sister Wendy (Courtney Cox) needs some long term childcare, so Skeeter splits the responsibility with Wendy’s friend Jill (Keri Russell), and since his sister doesn’t allow television or sugar in the house, he kills time by telling them bedtime stories. The next day, some elements of his story coincidentally occur and he immediately plans to take advantage of this newfound luck.  Of course, until he works out the rules for making fantasy into reality, misadventures abound. 
    Russell Brand (who is not as funny as he thinks he is) takes the role of Mickey, the best friend. An appropriately sleazy Guy Pierce plays Kendall, Skeeter’s first nemesis. The always fabulous Lucy Lawless rounds out the solid cast as his second nemesis, Aspen. The children are played by newcomers Jonathan Heit and Laura Kesling, who do a pretty good job of not being whiny while holding their own with far more experienced cast members.
    The bedtime stories are fairly well promoted in the trailers. There is the medieval story, the Old West story, the gladiatorial combat story and the sci-fi epic. In each story, the cast members get to play a small counterpart role.     Unfortunately, the bedtime stories are so cute they make the rest of the movie seem like filler. Overall, a fun movie with several genuine comic moments.

Contact Heather Griffiths at editor@upandcomingweekly.com 

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