Friday, November 27, 2009


Family comedy

John Travolta: Charlie Reed, one of the principals in a sports management firm
Robin Williams: his middle-aged business partner Dan Rayburn
Seth Green: their business associate Ralph White
Kelly Preston: Dan’s ex-wife Vicki
Ella Bleu Travolta: seven-year-old fraternal twin Emily
Conner Rayburn: and Zach
Matt Dillon: camp counsellor Barry
Bernie Mac: entertainer Jimmy Lunchbox

I’ve given it a lot of thought and tried to come up with something nice to say about this film, something that might justify putting out $10 or so and having to give up more than a hour of your time to watching it. I am stymied because this one is completely without any merit at all.

The producers have simply taken a lot of clich├ęs used in comic violence including hits to the crotch (three times and counting), smacks to the body, falling, tripping, breaking things and the like. Add to that a lot of mugging for the camera, rude bodily sounds and silly inane dialogue. In a word, just about anything they hope will provoke a laugh from those who enjoy that sort of humour. I do not so I left before things got any worse.

for mild rude humor.

• While at the restaurant one of the kids knocks over Charlie’s soft drink. Seen from the kid’s perspective the empty glass remains on the table. But viewed over Dan’s shoulder the glass is sitting upright.
• Charlie tells someone their trip from NYC to Tokyo will take 18 hours. It does not: it is a little over 14 hours.
• Dan and Vicki got divorced before the kids were born so it is impossible that he was at an amusement park with them as seen on his laptop video.

Makes you wonder if the Casting Director is a real good friend of the family: according to her bio, Kelly Preston (who plays Vicki) married John Travolta (who plays Charlie) in 1991. Their daughter Ella Bleu plays Emily.

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