(The Disneycember logo is shown, before showing clips from Bedtime Stories)
Doug (vo): Well, seeing how there's sadly more unfunny Adam Sandler movies than there are funny Adam Sandler movies, is it possible Disney could help him out? Eh...that's a hard "no". Bedtime Stories not only stars Adam Sandler, but it's also produced by his company, Happy Madison. It's a combo made in sadness. And it's exactly what you would think a Disney/Happy Madison production would give us, something that's much more Happy Madison and much less Disney. I don't know what it is. I feel like that production company just takes over everything. It's always the majority. I don't know if whoever they're compromising with just shrugs and says, "Okay, we'll take a chance. Maybe it'll work. Give them most of the control", or if what Happy Madison brings to the table is just so bad, it overshadows any positive moments. But, to Happy Madison's credit, they've done a lot worse.
Story[edit | edit source]
Doug (vo): Adam Sandler plays the son of a motel owner, played by Jonathan Pryce. He sadly is not a good businessman, so he hands over control to someone else. Over the years, it becomes much bigger and far more successful, and Sandler stays on as the custodian. But, wouldn't you know it? A big bad businessman wants to take the motel in a direction Sandler doesn't like, closing down the current one to make room for another one that's, coincidentally, also gonna destroy his sister's school. Wow, that's two heart-tugging places they're gonna close unless our goofy hero can do something about it. Well, Sandler, of course, has ideas about how to fix everything, but nobody listens to him. That is, except for a little bit of time he's stuck looking after his sister's kids, and to put them to sleep every night, he makes up a bedtime story. He's not exactly the best at it, so the kids help out, and, magically...ish, elements of the story come true the next day. At first, it looks like magic, but then it's revealed it's usually just coincidences. Regardless, though, whenever he tells a story to the kids and the kids help out, something very similar always happens the following day. So he tries to use this to his advantage, trying to get in good with the man who owns the place to give him a chance, and, if the kids suddenly decide he should be set on fire, trying to avoid that if he can as well.
Review[edit | edit source]
Doug (vo): The tragedy of this movie is, it's not a bad idea. I'll even go out on a limb and say, it's not a bad idea for Adam Sandler. I thought the same thing for Click. It's really smart, it's really clever, and you can actually go in a lot of interesting directions. But, much like that movie too, it doesn't really utilize the talent that it has. Adam Sandler can be very funny, he can be very clever. Yes, he can be immature, but there's still an intelligence to that immaturity sometimes. I can't explain it. It worked in Happy Gilmore, it worked in The Wedding Singer and Zohan. It's possible. But the writing just gets lazy.
(Clips focusing on the kids' pet guinea pig are shown)
Doug (vo): The biggest running joke in the movie is they have a guinea pig that has these big bulgy eyes that are fake as hell. But they act like they have a gold mine and this'll be the mascot of the film, so they show him over and over and over. If you ever laughed at this thing, trust me. By the end, you won't be. You'll be sick to death of him.
(Several clips focusing on the film's antagonist, characters portrayed by Keri Russell and Russell Brand, and the cameo of Rob Schneider, are shown)
Doug (vo): The film also has all the trademarks that you'd expect in a Happy Madison production. There's always a bad guy who's not funny and doesn't get the joke. There's always a girlfriend who's forgettable as hell. There's always an awkward sidekick who's never given any funny lines to say. And there's always Rob Schneider insulting some sort of ethnicity. What is it this time? Native American, right on cue. I will say this: in a really bad Happy Madison production, it's usually unbearable. The bad writing, gross-out jokes, I guess attempt at shock humor, these movies have some of the worst. But here, they're just kind of lame. Every once in a while, I might rub my temple when something really doesn't work, but for the most part, if a joke bombs, they just kind of move on to the next one, they don't hold on it too long. So I guess there's that.
(Clips focusing on the moments where the kids' additions to the bedtime stories come true in real-life are shown)
Doug (vo): The only times I got a good chuckle is when it went extremely surreal. A lot of those center around the children's additions to the story that make no sense, but are imaginative. For example, in one of the scenes, he has a red horse. I have no idea why, but look at that thing. It's kind of cool. I've never seen a red horse, it's really neat. I don't know why. Looking at that just brings a smile to my face. I also like weird little additions, like when a group of friends is so jealous and they don't know what to do, the little girl says, "They do the Hokey Pokey." No rhyme or reason, it's just what they do. I even kind of giggled when they did it in real life, like they have no idea why they're doing it, they feel like they're possessed. Once in a while, you get something cute like that, but it's mostly just misses. Not painful misses, but still misses.
(Footage focusing on the scene where Skeeter Bronson feels bad over something he had inadvertently caused, as well as some shots of the film's climax, is shown)
Doug (vo): There's, of course, the third act moping period where the good guy has to feel really bad, and he screwed up, or nobody trusts him anymore, and then he has to find the confidence to do something really wacky to save the day, but the big bad businessman won't listen and tries to stop him...yeah, I mean, you know the drill.
Final thought[edit | edit source]
Doug (vo): Like I said, I've seen far worse versions of this formula, but it's still a bad formula. Every once in a while, Adam Sandler can work with it okay, but this isn't one of them. I always feel bad hating on his movies, because everybody always says he's the nicest guy, he's so sweet and kind and talented, and I believe them. I just don't understand why those wonderful elements are so rarely utilized on film. I guess you could argue, without movies like these, you wouldn't have ones like Uncut Gems and Punch-Drunk Love, you know, like in order for [Jon] Favreau to make Mandalorian, he has to do a few Lion Kings. Are they worth it? I guess. But that still doesn't make them very good stories.
(One of the film's final scenes, showing the family reuniting with Skeeter after he saves the day, is shown)