Review: Bedtime Stories

Plot: When hotel handyman Skeeter Bronson (Adam Sandler) is left in charge of his sister’s two children, he’s amazed to discover that the bedtime stories he’s been entertaining them with have started to come true.

Review: BEDTIME STORIES is the quintessential Disney flick. It’s a slick product designed to pull in families, and make bundles of cash. It’s got everything a wannabe holiday blockbuster needs: a short running time, a popular leading man, elaborate special effects, and a strong undercurrent of sentimentality. It probably won’t impress anyone under twelve, but for what it is, it’s not bad.

I think the reason BEDTIME STORIES works at all is mainly due to Sandler. While I’m nowhere near his biggest fan, he’s always been likable, and that’s really all this film needs- a likable leading man. While he certainly doesn’t stretch himself here, I liked him more in this film than in any of his recent comedies (except the surprisingly decent YOU DON’T MESS WITH THE ZOHAN). His works well with the two kids that play his niece and nephew, and I also thought he had pretty decent chemistry with Keri Russell, who plays the obligatory love interest.

Special note should also be made of Russell Brand, who I think is on the verge of superstardom. While a PG-rated, Adam Sandler/Disney film is probably not the best venue for his talent, he nonetheless steals every scene he’s in. I particularly liked his odd sleeping disorder, which is the only part of the film I found genuinely funny.

I should also mention the fact that the filmmakers obviously spent some major coin on the numerous, special effects laden, BEDTIME STORIES of the title. Usually Sandler’s films are fairly low budget, so it’s a bit odd seeing him mingle with elaborate CGI- but these scenes are fairly well done, if a tad bland.

Directed by Adam Shankman, who previously helmed the inexplicably popular THE PACIFIER & HAIRSPRAY, BEDTIME STORIES is really your typical Shankman film. It’s cute, and inoffensive, but it’s a little too slick, and is basically cinematic junkfood. Kids will love it, and you may find yourself somewhat entertained by it, but afterwards you’ll find it completely forgettable, and will yearn for something a little more satisfying. If you’re looking for a good family film, you can certainly do worse, but if you’re kids are a little older, you might want to consider taking them to see SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE instead, which is truly a film with something for everyone.

Grade: 6.5/10

Review: Bedtime Stories




About the Author

Chris Bumbray began his career with JoBlo as the resident film critic (and James Bond expert) way back in 2007, and he has stuck around ever since, being named editor-in-chief in 2021. A voting member of the CCA and a Rotten Tomatoes-approved critic, you can also catch Chris discussing pop culture regularly on CTV News Channel.