Bedtime Stories

Marty Bronson has to sell his homey motel to clever Barry Nottingham with the promises that one day Marty's son will be manager when he's all grown up and has proven himself. Nottingham pulls down the motel to raise a pricey hotel. Now, all grown up Marty's son, Skeeter, works as a janitor and general servant for Mr. Nottingham, but unlikely as it seems, he still dreams of becoming the manager. When Nottingham announces a brand-new gigantic hotel project, he makes his future son-in-law, Kendall, manager, shattering Skeeter's dream. At the same time Skeeter's sister Wendy has to leave town for a job interview and asks him to alternate looking after her two children with Wendy's responsible-minded colleague Jill.  The fun begins when Skeeter tells his niece and nephew a bedtime story each night.  It doesn't take long for strange things to begin happening and for Skeeter to realize that he may just have in hand the power to make all his dreams come true. 

Starring:  Adam Sandler, Courtney Cox, Keri Russell, Guy Pearce, Russell Brand, Richard Griffiths, Lucy Lawless, Johnathan Morgan Heit, Laura Ann Kesling, Jonathan Pryce etc. 

Rating:  G

This was a light family fun film and we all enjoyed watching it together.  Although it is rated G it doesn't hold a lot of interest for all younger children. My 5 year old just barely managed to hold out longer with the promise that once Skeeter started telling the bedtime stories it would get more interesting.  This worked and she was hooked for the rest of the film. 

We, of course, previewed this film the night before and were pleasantly surprised at how they managed to do the story telling and action scenes without being either too scary or violent.  When I initially watched the previews, I was inclined to think that it might be a tad violent.  Please note there are some high thrill adventures with horse racing, chariot racing, etc. but nothing more violent or intense than what typify many of the Barbie movies (Hey I have girls it's the easiest comparison). So we had no qualms whatsoever in letting our younger children watch the film. 

The storyline could have been better, more filled out.  Isn't that always the case though?  However, we still enjoyed the stories for what they were.  I liked that although the main character was going through difficulties and some disappointments in his life, he still had a measure of hope and when he was really down, he was able to pull himself together and do something about it, teaching that we don't always have to settle for second best and there's no reason why we can't try and make our dreams happen.  

I think there was also a message in there that while it's good to eat healthy and to work and study hard that there is also some room in there for a measure of fun and freedom.  Life doesn't have to always be just serious.  Skeeter helped the children realize that and give them some fun in an area where they mother was unable too.  

They do leave some questions out like what happened to Skeeter and Wendy's mother and why their relationship was so distant.  They appear to be close yet at the same time mention they hadn't seen each other for 4 years.  I do find it disappointing that Hollywood always feel the needs to make the family dynamic into a single parent household.  While I know there are many divorced couples our there and parents making it on their own, there are just as many out there that are still together.  It is confusing for those kids that still have their parents together to understand how all these t.v. families are divided.  If you have a thinker for a child, it could actually make them fearful that their family is going to split up too, especially since it seems to be rare to see two parent familes in movies these days.  Am I wrong or have I just been watching the wrong movies?  I hope so. 

So all in all I was a big fan of the movie and would heartily recommend it to any of my customers who have young families.  It's probably not the best film for families with older teens as it probably won't hold their teen's interest, unless, of course, your teen is a fairly sheltered teen.  

Here are the more detailed specifics re the movie to help determine if this film would be appropriate for your child. 
Parents Advisory: 
Sex and nudity:  Contains mild toilet humour, some girls are seen in bikinis, random cleavage shots, bare chested men, 
Violence and gore:  one man is slapped by a hand that pops out of a gun and some wrestling occurs
Language and Profanity:  at least two uses of "hell" and "what the hell" and 4 uses "God" and "OMG"
Alcohol/Drinking/Smoking:  small reference to drinking champagne and references to "going for drinks" but no alcohol is actually seen being consumed. 
Frightening Intense Scenes:  Some monsters (not many) from the stories may be frightening, but all are portrayed in a humorous light. For instance a booger monster is particularly vivid. A divorce is discussed as well which could be problematic for some children.  (Again, my children had no issues with these scenes at all)

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