Old 01-26-2010, 02:06 PM
Michael Lembeck's Tooth Fairy

Here's the link to the published version of my review in my column at The Richmond Examiner:


Tooth Fairy (2010)

I'll be one of the few to say that this film is not nearly as bad as you might think, which is saying quite a lot about a film feature Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson in a pink tutu. It is not without a certain amount of charm that helps carry the film along, but is it recommendable? Well, that's a different matter.

Johnson plays Derek Thompson, a hockey player in the minor leagues with the nickname "The Tooth Fairy," given to him because he tends to knock his opponents' teeth out. He is in a relationship with Carly (Ashley Judd), who has two kids, Randy (Chase Ellison) and Tess (Destiny Whitlock). One night, Derek almost tells Tess that there is no tooth fairy which angers Carly. When he goes to bed that night, he discovers a summons under his pillow and is whisked off to Fairy Land.

Here he meets Tracy (Stephen Merchant), his case worker. Derek is assigned tooth fairy duty by the head fairy, Lily (Julie Andrews), for almost telling Tess that there's no tooth fairy. To do this, he is given special equipment by Jerry (Billy Crystal), which includes a magic wand, amnesia powder, and shrinking cream. Now Derek must juggle his relationship, his hockey playing, and his duties of collecting teeth and leaving money under pillows.

Surprisingly (very surprisingly I should say), this film does have a few laughs; only a few, but that's more than I thought there would be. The best scene in the film is when Billy Crystal is giving Derek his fairy equipment. Crystal is only in the film for this one scene, but he makes a big impact in a film that has little else.

Another decent performance comes from Stephen Merchant as Tracy, a fairy who wants to become a tooth fairy but isn't able to get his wings. He provides some of the comic relief that the film needs to keep it moving. Then there's Dwayne Johnson, who has shown he can do some decent work in comedy if he tries like "Get Smart" and "Planet 51." Here, he plays Derek on pretty much one note, gets a laugh or two, but delivers nothing special.

It's always nice to see Academy Award winning actress Julie Andrews, but here she is given nothing to do except sit behind a desk, give orders, or smile when Derek comes back with a tooth. If she and Crystal had been given more to do, then this film might have actually been recommendable.

A lot of the film's problems lie in the script, which was written by five different writers. I've already mentioned that there are a few jokes. The few jokes it has are spread out too thin among too many moments of sentimentality. Then there are all these random sections of Derek playing hockey which just don't feel like they fit into the film at all. It's like the writers used that to squeeze in the metaphor of following your dreams or believing in yourself.

It all comes down to its predictable ending. Do you want to take a guess as to whether Derek starts believing in fairies and their magic? We end up having to wait for him to come to this conclusion and for him to appease his very forgiving girlfriend, but it's a kid's movie, so we can let some of this slide. However, don't be surprised if even the kids know exactly what's going to happen.

To reiterate, it's not nearly as bad as the trailers make it look. Actually, for Dwayne Johnson, this is not nearly the worst thing he's ever done (no Dwayne, we haven't forgotten about the WWF). If the script had gone through a few more drafts, there might have been more to it, but at least it doesn't involve a spy using martial arts while babysitting some really annoying kids. 2.5/4 stars.
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Old 01-26-2010, 07:15 PM
MICHAEL LEMBECK'S "The Tooth Fairy"???? I always thought you had to be a director of distinction before you got your name put before your movie.
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Old 01-26-2010, 09:48 PM
Originally Posted by hoojib127 View Post
MICHAEL LEMBECK'S "The Tooth Fairy"???? I always thought you had to be a director of distinction before you got your name put before your movie.

John Carpenter used to put his name before his movie titles all the time during his earliest works. Although he never directed a Tooth Fairy movie starring Dwayne Johnson (I'm trying my hardest not to call him The Rock.)
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Old 01-27-2010, 01:16 AM
I'm definitely goin' to ck this one out-obviously a simple and neat film..I'll see soon.
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