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Rated PG-13; running time of 100 minutes
Written by: Geoff Rodkey
Directed by: Steve Carr
Cast: Eddie Murphy, Jeff Garlin, Steve Zahn, Regina King, Anjelica Huston, Khamani Griffin
WARNING - SPOILERS BELOW.
Charlie (Eddie Murphy) is on the fast track at the ad agency that specializes in kids food and toys. He makes a good living and provides well for his family. So weel in fact that he and his wife, Kim (Regina King), decided that she would stay home and raise their son, Ben (Khamani Griffin). Ben is now 4 and they have decided to put him in the best academy money can buy. It is no surprise that Charlie is called away from the school orientation leaving Ben feeling abandoned once again. But all of that is about to change.
Unfortunately Charlie and his partner Phil (Jeff Garlin) are fired. Unable to find new jobs, they must stay at home and raise the kids. Staying at home and unable to afford the academy gives them an idea: Why not open a day care center themselves? It seems easy enough and who better than them to spend time teaching their kids the essentials? Thus they open their own business. The recruit Marvin (Steve Zahn) who used to work in the company mailroom and who just happens to have a gift with working with kids. All seems to go well until children start leaving the academy in favor of Daddy Day Care. This does not set well with Mrs. Harridan (Anjelica Huston). She is none too thrilled that kids are leaving her academy for the unskilled daddies. Besides trouble from her, Charlie and Phil really didn't realize that daycare is not as easy as it looks and the kids are wearing them out.
Thanks to Mrs. Harridan their day care is threatened with closure - will they have the energy to save it and continue to spend quality time with their own kids?
Eddie Murphy has been making a bunch of stinkers lately. While I wouldn't call this one a stinker, it was no gem either. If you've seen the trailers and commercials, you've seen 90% of the funny parts. Beyond those few laugh out loud moments, the rest of the movie is an exercise in tedium. Those kids are adorable and the adults work really well with them, but the whole "Let's hold a benefit concert to save the community center!" type of plot device is old and didn't bring anything new and worthwhile to the table. And the script needed a lot of work.
I don't believe that the actors were necessarily the problem. There is only so much one can do with that type of script. And on the one hand, it was a cute family movie, but on the other hand, I wouldn't want my kid to pick up some of the stuff the kids in the movie were doing.
An Okay, not great or even good, family movie.
Someone needs a time-out to think about writing a better script.
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Copyright Kamal "The Diva" Larsuel-Ulbricht, 2003