Movie Review: Bedtime Stories

I have mixed feelings about this new movie starring Adam Sandler. While Bedtime Stories is certainly a family friendly movie (rated PG) it was not exactly what I thought it would be. Yes, it’s a movie about bedtime stories coming true – but not in the fantastical sense that the previews might lead you to believe – for the most part, there seem to be perfectly rational explanations for a lot of things – nothing just pops out of thin air in a magical way – it’s more like the stories become premonitions for Sandler’s character’s real life.

Sandler plays Skeeter  Bronson, whose father built and ran into the ground the hotel he now works in – as a janitor. It had always been his father’s dream for his family to inherit the hotel, but when he proved to be a not so great business man, he ended up selling the hotel to a man who promised to give his son a job running the hotel someday. And then of course, he didn’t quite keep his promise. But with the help of Skeeter’s adorable niece and nephew, a bug eyed guinea pig, and some imaginative bedtime stories, things start to change – and in true family movie fashion, he manages to turn his life around.

I think the only thing that bothered me about this movie is that, despite being funny, Skeeter’s character isn’t terribly likable. He is pretty rude and, well, crude. Don’t worry about inappropriate material – that’s not really an issue – it was just a little disappointing this his character was never really admirable. I guess you could say he was an underdog, but I couldn’t help but feel like he often deserved his underdog status. And even by the end of the movie when he “turns his life around” and learns the lessons that make him a better person – it isn’t really as rewarding as it could have been – he just sort of pulls things together and comes out okay – he gets the girl, but you can’t help feeling sorry for her for that.

I don’t know – I think I’m being overly critical – Sandler certainly has his style of humor and he excels at it – and the movie was good – I laughed all the way through it – it was really just the mom in me who said, “But wait – ” at the end. Your kids will probably love the silly antics – and you grown ups should enjoy it, too. Netflix deems it appropriate for kids ages 7+ and I think I’d agree with that.

I give Bedtime Stories 3.5 out of 5 stars.