Bad night

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Just because Adam Sandler acts like an eight-year-old doesn't mean he should try to entertain them.

Bedtime Stories, Sandler's attempt at a kid-friendly movie, is less interested in playing to the elementary set than appealing to their parents, who aren't likely to be amused by Sandler labeling his business rival "Sir Buttkiss."

Sir Buttkiss, aka Kendall (Guy Pearce), is just one of the characters in the stories Skeeter (Sandler) tells his niece and nephew when he's forced to take care of them for a week while their mom (Courtney Cox) looks for work out of town.

Things get strange when the stories - which include a storm of gumballs and an angry dwarf - start to come true, but only the parts added by the children.

The good news is the kids added a part to the story where Skeeter, a maintenance man, gets an opportunity to run the latest addition to a hotel chain, per the owner's old promise to Skeeter's father. What kid doesn't enjoy the inner workings of the hospitality industry, or for that matter organic wheat germ and painful divorces?

The film does benefit from comedian Russell Brand (whose offbeat shtick works as well here as it did in Forgetting Sarah Marshall) and love interest Keri Russell, but neither fixes the fundamental problem: Writers Matt Lopez and Tim Herlihy have penned a movie that appeals to neither restless kids nor their uninterested parents.

"Bedtime Stories"

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Grade: D+