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"BEDTIME STORIES"
(2008) (Adam Sandler, Keri Russell) (PG)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Mild Mild *Heavy Minor Mild
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Heavy None Mild None Minor
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Moderate None Mild Mild Mild


QUICK TAKE:
Comedy: A hotel handyman discovers that the unusual bedtime stories he tells his young niece and nephew come true the following day, although not quite the way he expects them to.
PLOT:
Skeeter Bronson (ADAM SANDLER) has lived his entire life at the Sunny Vista Hotel, first as a kid with his sister when their dad ran the place, and now for the past 25 years serving as the handyman for owner Barry Nottingham (RICHARD GRIFFITHS). Despite being quite good at his job, the likes of manager Kendall Duncan (GUY PEARCE) and front desk attendant Aspen (LUCY LAWLESS) look down on him, while Nottingham's high society daughter, Violet (TERESA PALMER), doesn't give him much notice. Accordingly, that only adds to his disappointment when Mr. Nottingham announces that Kendall, rather than Skeeter, will be the general manager of their newest, but yet-to-be-built property.

At the same time, Skeeter ends up having to watch his young niece, Bobbi (LAURA ANN KESLING), and nephew, Patrick (JONATHAN MORGAN HEIT), when their divorced school principal mom, Wendy (COURTNEY COX), has to go out of town to look for a new job, what with her school scheduled to be shuttered. Besides somewhat spacey hotel waiter Mickey (RUSSELL BRAND) helping him watch the kids, Skeeter also gets assistance from Wendy's friend, teacher Jill Hastings (KERI RUSSELL). Even so, it's up to Skeeter to tell the kids their bedtime stories, and since he has no experience with that, he comes up with some unorthodox tales, with his young charges throwing in various details.

To his surprise, some of the latter then end up actually happening in real life. And since Mr. Nottingham has changed his mind and will allow Skeeter to compete against Kendall for the new position, the handyman figures he can use those bedtime stories to ensure that he gets the job. Yet, as he starts to fall for Jill, he soon learns that his best laid plans don't always work out the way he, and the kids, have imagined.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
The fantasy element might draw in some, while fans of anyone in the cast might be enticed by it as well.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG
For some mild rude humor and mild language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • ADAM SANDLER plays an unassuming handyman who's initially disappointed in not getting the general manager job at the new hotel, but is then pleased when he gets a second chance to prove he has what it takes. He ends up having to watch his sister's kids, and thus ends up introducing them to things not approved of by their mother, and then tries to benefit from their apparent magical but unintentional abilities to cause their bedtime story ideas to come true. He also acts in various goofy ways that kids might want to imitate.
  • KERI RUSSELL plays a teacher at Wendy's school who agrees to help watch her kids while she's gone, meaning she must deal with Skeeter. She initially wants nothing to do with him, but ends up starting to fall for him.
  • GUY PEARCE plays the hotel brown-noser who kisses up to Nottingham to land the general manager spot in the new hotel that's to be built. He dislikes, looks down on, and competes with Skeeter for that job and appears to be having a fling with Aspen despite dating Violet.
  • RUSSELL BRAND plays a waiter at the hotel and Skeeter's somewhat spacey friend who helps him (to a small degree) care for the kids while suffering from "sleep panic disorder" (that causes him to suddenly scream while asleep).
  • RICHARD GRIFFITHS plays the elderly hotel owner, a germaphobe who gives Skeeter a chance to prove he's manager material.
  • TERESA PALMER plays his high society daughter who's dating Kendall, hates the paparazzi, and isn't sure how to feel about Skeeter.
  • LUCY LAWLESS plays a haughty front desk clerk who looks down on Skeeter and appears to be having some sort of fling with Kendall.
  • COURTNEY COX plays Skeeter's sister, a divorced school principal who's losing her job with the school closing. She asks her brother to watch her kids while she looks for a new job, and is noted as being a control freak about her children (only ultra-healthy food, no TV, etc.).
  • JONATHAN MORGAN HEIT and LAURA ANN KESLING play her kids whose eyes are opened when their uncle briefly cares for and introduces them to various things they've never experienced.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this PG-rated comedy. Profanity consists of a possible minor expletive, while some religious and colorful phrases are also uttered. Some non-explicit, but sexually related dialogue is present, various women are seen in bikinis (and men are seen shirtless) and other cleavage (sometimes a lot) is also present. Some comedy-based, sexual tension also occurs, as does a brief kiss.

    There's some comedy-based violence (kicking and otherwise striking others), some slapstick style material, a gun shot from another hand in an imagined cowboy scene, and a character is incinerated (along the lines of what would occur in a cartoon) by a fireball (in an imagined sci-fi scene). There's a brief scene of potential peril, some characters drink, and several scenes feature crude humor.

    All sorts of potentially imitative behavior is present, as is some brief tense family material. Various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes (all played for comedy), and some viewers might not like some comedic portrayals.

    Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those concerned with bright flashes of light on the screen, there's some of that from paparazzi cameras.

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, there's some sweeping camera movement in an imagined sci-fi story.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • There's talk of an older hotel guest drinking mini-bottles of liquor in her hotel room (not seen).
  • People have wine and champagne at a reception.
  • In an imagined medieval scene, some characters hold goblets, but we don't know the content of them.
  • In an imagined cowboy scene, Violet's character, after being saved by Skeeter's cowboy character, asks him if they should now drink champagne in a hot tub. We then see her quickly jump into the hot tub where he's already located (and they may be holding drinks - seen from a distance).
  • Miscellaneous people have drinks.
  • In an imagined scene set in ancient Greece, Skeeter's character asks another if they should go out for a drink, adding the thought of a little wine and cheese.
  • At a Hawaii themed party, Mickey drinks from two coconut halves (we don't know the content of the drinks, but they're "tropical" looking in nature).
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Arriving at Bobbi's birthday party (where there's a donkey), Skeeter states that he smells manure.
  • In an imagined story, we hear and see that Skeeter's character has "Athlete's face" (all red and irritated).
  • In an imagined cowboy story, a horse farts (both heard and seen). Moments later, an Indian tells a story about "fire wind" and waves his hand back and forth behind his clothed butt.
  • In an imagined sci-fi story, Skeeter and Kendall's characters participate in an anti-gravity battle, where Mr. Nottingham's character then gives the command to bring out the "booger monster" (a big green blob of mucous) and it knocks both around before licking and then landing on Kendall (with green goo and drops going everywhere).
  • After Kendall faints and hits the floor, a bulldog licks his face, leaving it covered in gooey slobber.
  • About the kids' guinea pig eating lots of marshmallows, Skeeter states that its cage is going to be messy, and the rodent then farts.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Aspen looks down on Skeeter, saying a customer's issue isn't something that shouldn't tax his tiny little mind.
  • Violet is dating Kendall, but it appears (by suggestive banter and actions) that he and Aspen are having some sort of fling.
  • As Skeeter admires his sports car, a rich guy is demeaning back to him about how long it would take Skeeter to save enough money to buy one.
  • In an imagined cowboy scene, we hear gunshots and then see some cowboys surrounding a woman they're accosting and/or planning to rob.
  • Some viewers might be offended by a comedy portrayal of an American Indian (by Rob Schneider).
  • Some viewers might be offended by the portrayal of some small people, including one being called a "dwarf," one kicked out of a room, and others kicking Skeeter on the leg in several scenes.
  • A man steals Skeeter's wallet.
  • Some paparazzi won't let Violet be and surround her with their cameras.
  • Kendall continues to be condescending to Skeeter, including purposefully dropping some cheesecake onto the pool deck so that Skeeter has to clean it up. Later, and to undermine Skeeter's budding romance with Jill, Kendall tells her that her closed school is to be replaced by the latest hotel that Skeeter wants to run (Skeeter is not aware of its pending location at this point).
  • Rather than come up with his own proposal for a hotel theme to get the general manager job at the new hotel, Skeeter tries to get the kids to make up a bedtime story that will make it happen for him.
  • We hear that some former female classmates of Skeeter's had a bad attitude toward him back then, and upon seeing him now, they start laughing and chuckling at him. When he has Jill pretend to be his girlfriend, one woman comments (in envy) about how skinny she is, with Skeeter adding the jab, "Skinnier than you."
  • Skeeter steals a stranger's motorcycle (so that he can race to a school to stop it from being destroyed).
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Patrick and Bobbi end up inside their school that's about to be destroyed by a controlled implosion via explosives. Wendy worries when she can't find them, while Skeeter and Jill race there to try to stop Kendall from pushing down the plunger. To make sure he can carry out the plan, Kendall pushes a demolition guy backwards and to the ground, with Skeeter then flying up on a motorcycle, kicking Kendall aside at the last moment.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • We see pop-up characters from a bedtime storybook, with one holding a sword, two holding lances, and one holding a ray gun.
  • We see young Skeeter with a toy ray gun.
  • In an imagined cowboy scene, we hear gunshots and then see some cowboys surrounding a woman they're accosting and/or planning to rob. Skeeter's character then rides up in a hurry, lassos a log and uses that to knock down the cowboys. When one pulls his pistol, Skeeter shoots that from the man's hand.
  • To save Violet from some paparazzi, Skeeter fakes a power drill as being a gun (to scare them away).
  • In an imagined sci-fi story, Skeeter and Kendall's characters participate in an anti-gravity battle, where Kendall whacks Skeeter who kicks Kendall back. They both then grab sci-fi weapons that shoot out a beam that then turns into hands that slap Skeeter, put fingers up Kendall's nose, and then put a finger in Skeeter's ear.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Way too hyper," "Sign the bloody papers," "That will blow your mind," "I smell manure," "Skeeter's the coolest, I am a nerd," "Goofy's the new handsome," "Zing-zang up there," "I'm not reading these communist books to you guys," "Working his butt off," "Oh no..." "The crowd went nuts," "Weird eyes," "You little Romeo," "She's hot," "This is spooky," "For freeeeeeee...." "Sucker," "Big people stink," "Macho bunny," "You fools," "I don't know but it's been said, Bugsy's eyes pop out of his head" (sung like a military chant), "I'm like the stink on your feet, I'll always be around," "I see London, I see France, I see my golden underpants," "Can you dig it?" "Ding-dong," "Check out Mr. Smooth," "I do what I do," "Do you dig?" "Shut up," "Bring out the booger monster," "Ten-four, rubber duck," "It's so sweet and creepy," "You guys under demeciated me" (or something sounding like that made-up word) and "Shouldn't I get a little mermaid action?" (Skeeter about a kiss from Jill).
  • We see young Skeeter hiding in the hotel's ice machine.
  • Skeeter throws ketchup-covered French fries into Mickey's face (as a half-joke).
  • In an imagined medieval scene, Kendall's character is known as Sir Butt-Kisser (or at least something that sounds like that), and we hear that he spent all day kissing butts (not meant literally). Some kids may say the same about other people.
  • To try to spice up a bland wheat germ sandwich, Skeeter squeezes a lot of toothpaste on it, takes a bite, and then has a huge mouthful of that as he talks.
  • In some playful sexual tension, Kendall growls at Aspen who barks back at him.
  • Skeeter closes the door in Jill's face, opens it, she says she can't believe he did that, and so he does it again (playfully).
  • To save Violet from some paparazzi, Skeeter swings his truck around, thus splashing standing water onto them. He then fakes a power drill as being a gun (to scare them away).
  • In an imagined scene set in ancient Greece, Skeeter does a handstand on a moving horse's back.
  • In an imagines scene, we see a shirtless obese guy lying on the beach, not breathing. Skeeter stomps on his belly and a fish flies out of his mouth, saving him. This occurs again later in the present day.
  • We see Patrick and Bobbi shaving with razors (Skeeter says he took the blades out so they're okay), while Bobbi has a lot on the sides of her head and states that she's Princess Leia.
  • In an imagined sci-fi story, Skeeter and Mickey's characters do a chest bump.
  • Worried about catching on fire and burning up (as occurred in an imagined scene), Skeeter sprays himself with Christmas tree flame retardant. He then accidentally sprays that into a clerk's eyes, burning them, and then into his own, burning them as well (played for laughs). Later, and seeing the flames on Mr. Nottingham's birthday cake, Skeeter shoots that with a fire extinguisher, covering Mr. Nottingham's face in foam.
  • An unseen bee stings Skeeter's tongue when he accidentally eats it, thus causing the tongue to swell. We then see Skeeter trying to give a presentation with that tongue sticking out of his mouth, thus making his speech all mumbly (with Mickey having to translate).
  • Mickey suddenly lets out a scream from his sleep panic disorder (this occurs in two scenes, after falling asleep).
  • Some miscellaneous characters sports various tattoos in at least two scenes.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A playful amount of suspenseful music plays in the film, as does some of the adventure variety.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • What sounded like at least 1 damn, as well as 6 uses of "Oh my God" and 1 use of "Good God."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Skeeter stumbles about his words, saying the wrong thing about Violet to her father, including about her reputation (but then adding that he isn't saying she has one -- presumably meant sexually) and then about her being "hot."
  • In an imagined medieval scene, Jill is viewed as a mermaid with a standard bikini-style top.
  • Patrick comments about a girl he likes (who isn't there), "She's hot."
  • In some playful sexual tension, Kendall growls at Aspen who barks back at him.
  • In an imagined cowboy scene, Violet's character, after being saved by Skeeter's cowboy character, asks him if they should now drink champagne in a hot tub. We then see her quickly jump into the hot tub where he's already located, but there's no nudity.
  • In an imagined cowboy scene, Violet's character shows some cleavage.
  • We see a miscellaneous woman in a very tight and formfitting dress.
  • Violet shows a little cleavage.
  • In an imagined scene set in ancient Greece, Violet's character shows cleavage, while Mickey's character wears a robe or toga that shows part of his bare chest. We also see Skeeter's character's golden underwear as he does a handstand on a horse (he chants, "I see London, I see France, I see my golden underpants").
  • In an imagined scene set in ancient Greece, Violet wears a short skirt and the period equivalent of a bikini top (showing cleavage).
  • A miscellaneous woman shows a lot of cleavage.
  • In an imagines scene, we see a shirtless obese guy lying on the beach, not breathing. Skeeter stomps on his belly and a fish flies out of his mouth, saving him. This occurs again later in the present day.
  • We see miscellaneous women in varying bikinis as well as shirtless guys at the beach.
  • Violet shows some cleavage.
  • Jill and Skeeter nearly kiss, but he stops, thinking part of the bedtime story from before is about to come true.
  • At a Hawaii themed party, we see Aspen in a hula dancer type bikini top (Mickey also wears the same), while we also see other cleavage. We then see Violet get out of the pool, wet and in a small, cleavage-revealing bikini.
  • For saving the day, Skeeter playfully asks, "Shouldn't I get a little mermaid action?" He and Jill then kiss.
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • We hear that Wendy's husband left her and that she's now divorced and raising her two young kids.
  • We hear that Skeeter hasn't seen Bobbi and Patrick in four years (because their father didn't like him).
  • Bobbi asks Skeeter if he thinks her father will come back. He isn't sure, but says that her mom, Jill and he will always be around.
  • Patrick and Bobbi don't want anything to do with their uncle when they think he's responsible for their school closing.
  • Wendy worries about her kids when she suddenly can't find them just as their school is about to be destroyed (on purpose) by explosives.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Kids' imagination being developed by the likes of bedtime stories.
  • Mr. Nottingham being a germaphobe.
  • The fact that Wendy's kids have never watched TV.
  • We hear that Mickey suffers from "sleep panic disorder."
  • The comment that one's fun is only limited by one's imagination.
  • VIOLENCE
  • All of the following is played for comedy.
  • In an imagined medieval scene, the horse beneath Skeeter's character suddenly disappears, causing him to fall to the stone plaza.
  • In an imagined story, Skeeter's character leaps into a body of water with some crocodiles, but we don't see the resultant attack.
  • In an imagined story, a small person is kicked across and out a room.
  • Skeeter accidentally falls over something in a dimly lit hotel room, followed moments later by Kendall doing the same (played as pratfalls).
  • In an imagined cowboy scene, we hear gunshots and then see some cowboys surrounding a woman they're accosting and/or planning to rob. Skeeter's character then rides up in a hurry, lassos a log and uses that to knock down the cowboys. When one pulls his pistol, Skeeter shoots that from the man's hand.
  • In an imagined cowboy scene, a small person (labeled as a "dwarf") kicks Skeeter in the leg.
  • In an imagined scene set in ancient Greece, Skeeter's character drives a chariot along various pillars, knocking them over and causing the walkway roof above them to collapse.
  • While inline skating, Jill accidentally runs into Skeeter and knocks him down.
  • In an imagined sci-fi story, Skeeter and Kendall's characters participate in an anti-gravity battle, where Kendall whacks Skeeter who kicks Kendall back. They both then grab sci-fi weapons that shoot out a beam that then turns into hands that slap Skeeter, put fingers up Kendall's nose, and then put a finger in Skeeter's ear. Mr. Nottingham's character then gives the command to bring out the "booger monster" (a big green blob of mucous) and it knocks both around before landing on Kendall.
  • In an imagined sci-fi story, a fireball is suddenly fired and hits Skeeter's character, incinerating him.
  • Worried about catching on fire and burning up (as occurred in an imagined scene), Skeeter sprays himself with Christmas tree flame retardant. He then accidentally sprays that into a clerk's eyes, burning them, and then into his own, burning them as well.
  • Patrick and Bobbi end up inside their school that's about to be destroyed by a controlled implosion via explosives. Wendy worries when she can't find them, while Skeeter and Jill race there to try to stop Kendall from pushing down the plunger (along the way they knock down a sign that smashes to a car, thus causing a ramp they use to fly through an empty train car as it passes by). To make sure he can carry out the plan, Kendall pushes a demolition guy backwards and to the ground, with Skeeter then flying up on a motorcycle. He kicks Kendall aside, with the now rider-less motorcycle crashing hard.



  • Reviewed December 18, 2008 / Posted December 24, 2008

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