BEDTIME STORIES

bedtime

Overall Impression — Ah, to be young again.  Then I would have liked this movie rather than just liked that my kids liked it. 

THE FOUR QUESTIONS

Who’s your main character? — Skeeter.

What’s he trying to accomplish? — Take over control of the hotel that was promised to him as a child, build a relationship with his niece and nephew, and get Jill to love him.

Who’s trying to stop him? — Kendall.

What happens if he fails? — He is stuck as the handyman at the hotel.

THE FOUR ARCHETYPES

Orphan — Skeeter has no real relationship with his sister or her kids, thanks to an incident with her ex-husband four years ago.  He’s also a bit of an uncouth loser, but only a bit.

Wanderer — Skeeter has to watch the kids, and in doing so tells them bedtime stories which begin to come true in bits and pieces.  He tries unsuccessfully to figure out how to control the stories so that things work out for him.

Warrior — Skeeter gets a chance to become manager of the new hotel if he comes up with a better theme than the conniving Kendall.  Around this time he realizes that he likes Jill and pursues her more actively.

Martyr — Skeeter gives up managing the hotel in order to go back to his roots and run a small family motel.  He also risks his own life to stop the demolition of the school that Jill and his sister work at.

AND, IN THE END…

It was only after I left this PG movie that I realized why I didn’t care for it more…it was rated PG.  My expectation was that it was going to be a smart family film.  Instead, it was only a semi-smart kids’ movie.  As such, my kids really liked it because they don’t have the same expectations I have.  

I don’t mean to be condescending, but one can forgive a kids movie for certain illogical contrivances.  My pet peeve (all right, one of my pet peeves…you know me so well) is lazy writing.  By that, I mean writers copping out and having things happen in their stories because THEY want them to happen, not because it makes sense.  A guinea pig appears on someone’s head without explanation of how it got there without the person knowing, bystanders being allowed to be on the sidewalk outside of a building that’s about to be dynamited, schools being open and full of students on one day and then three days later the place is deserted and ready to be destroyed and nobody knew it was going to happen until the day before?  And there’s more.  

The movie also suffered from a very muddled Central Question.  Was Skeeter trying to figure out how to control the stories?  Sorta, but not really.  Was he  trying to win the affection of the hotel heiress?  Sorta for the first part of the movie, and then he started going after Jill.  Was he trying to get the manager position for the new hotel?  Sorta, but he kept putting off working at it.  Was he trying to forge a relationship with his niece and nephew.? Sorta, but they got won over pretty early.  All of this ends up squandering what was, at its core, a very cool idea; bedtime stories come true.  One can only hope that INKHEART figures out how to exploit that concept better.

Like I said, it was only after I left the theater and thought about it for a while that I realized I’d be more forgiving had the film been a bit of G-rated fluff instead of trying to be the next big thing in family entertainment.  

Ah…who am I kidding?  I’d still be pissed off. 

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