|Rated: PG for some mild rude humor and mild language|
Starring: Adam Sandler, Keri Russell, and Courteney Cox
Released: December 25, 2008 (theaters) / April 7, 2009 (DVD / Blu-Ray)
Skeeter Bronson (Adam Sandler), the resident handyman at his local hotel, is asked by his sister Wendy (Courteney Cox) to babysit her two young kids while she is away. Without television or video games to entertain them, the only thing Skeeter can think of to amuse them is to make up stories, like his own father (Jonathan Pryce) used to do. After he and the kids construct a fantastical yarn, Skeeter is surprised to see that the events in the story end up taking place, even the part about it raining gumballs. Skeeter aspires to own his own hotel someday, but his longtime nemeses Kendall (Guy Pearce) and Aspen (Lucy Lawless) are standing in his way. Will Skeeter fulfill his dream...or is something better waiting for him?
Sure, it's silly and a bit inane at times, but this works really well for such a movie. The writers really know what goes through a child's mind, and it shows.
Production Values: 5/5
Excellent acting, a great, classic-rock-infused soundtrack, wonderful special effects...what's not to like? Everything in this department is impressive.
Skeeter learns what is truly important, and realizes that life isn't all about personal gain. The entire film also promotes the lost art of storytelling.
Several near-kisses; two full-on kisses, including one prolonged one. A little boy refers to a slightly older girl as "hot" twice. A young woman asks a little boy how old he was when he first kissed a girl. A woman is said to be "hot" and "loose", and it is mentioned that she "knows how to have a good time." The song during the closing credits has sexually-themed lyrics.
Two scenes in the film have several people in swimwear and other revealing clothing; in another scene, a woman is seen in a golden bikini.
God's name is misused about six or seven times. The British crudity "bloody" is uttered once. Along with a bit of more innocent name-calling, a character is referred to as "Sir Butt-Kiss," which is repeated several times along with other similar names.
Comedic violence and fantasy violence are the rules here. The fantastical stories involve a Grecian Colosseum brawl, a space duel, and a Wild West robbery/shootout. Elsewhere, two guys are sprayed in the eyes, and there are several slapstick pratfalls: a dwarf kicking a guy in the leg, a guy thrown into a pool, etc.
Alcoholic beverages are mentioned a few times.
Frightening/Intense Scenes: 3.5/5
The "booger monster" in one fantasy sequence may be too much for some kids. Also, Skeeter's niece and nephew enter a building that is about to be blown up. (Spoiler: They are saved just in time.)
There's a bit of lying, stealing, and racial stereotyping going on; also, bathroom humor is somewhat frequent.
Before watching this movie, I had heard quite a bit about it. Some of my friends had said it was cute and funny; however, the conservative movie review groups didn't like it. I can kind of see both parties' feelings; this film did have its humorous and touching moments, but it still felt like a regular Adam Sandler comedy that was simply edited for younger viewers. Most adult viewers won't have much of a problem, but...I would still recommend screening this before showing it to young children.