As those who know me, and if such a person exists, cyberstalk me, know I created this blog after writing on another site, which shall remain nameless, for a while. The point is, I have material sitting around waiting to be re-used on occasion I will re-post them here. Some of those articles or reviews may have been extemporaneous at the time but are slightly random now, hence the new title and little intro, regardless enjoy!
The Tooth Fairy (2010)
The Tooth Fairy is a predictable and poorly executed family comedy which leaves everyone uncomfortable, including a majority of the cast and the audience who is asked to try and sit through it without squirming. It’s the kind of film that even if you give your intelligence or critical faculties a holiday you’d have a hard time enjoying.
The film takes a brash, arrogant athlete knocks him down to size, he rebels then embraces the changes that have come into his life then rebels again before living happily-ever-after. It’s the old template tried and true except it is not handled with any precision whatsoever.
The writing of this film seemed to borrow generously from the Big Book of Clichés in assembling the story: you have a single mother, musician kid, a fantastical world to which our protagonist is whisked away, a guide, a mentor, a moral and redemption. All that is well and good but the execution issues are what make those things fall flatter than they should. Too much of the comedy in this film is based on puns, which is one of the lower and least tolerable forms of comedy. There is also the Moment of Apparent Defeat which is written more like an Irredeemable Act, meaning had our hero acted this way in real life there’s no way anyone would have forgiven him.
Sports are often turned into a shell of what they really are and bastardized in film to no end. Ice hockey usually suffers the most because it has a bad reputation in the U.S. and is being written by writers who don’t know the game. The writer’s familiarity is something that yours truly cannot testify to but it is without question the worst depiction of the sport ever put on celluloid to those who know the game. A depiction so bad that it might be worthy of a second article, however, it is dubious whether writing about such a film a second time is justified for any reason. More confusing than the poor depiction is that both ESPN and anchor Steve Levy would agree to appear in such a project when one would assume they read the script before saying yes.
The cast was underutilized and not put into a position where it could succeed. Dwayne Johnson, who I enjoyed in Escape to Witch Mountain and other action roles, was asked to play an occasionally goofy, arrogant jerk and his usual steadiness shares screen time with some embarrassing and unfortunate moments and readings. It’s rather unfortunate that both Billy Crystal and Julie Andrews not only were in this film but likely spent multiple days working on it. Crystal’s scene with the amnesia powder is the worst thing he’s done and is hacky – a word one thought might never be associated with him. It would be better if Julie Andrews didn’t take this part as well it’s better to not see her than see her in this. Then there is Ryan Sheckler, who really isn’t an actor but rather a skateboarder who has appeared in a handful of films. Not only is he horrible but he adds to the denigration of the sport of hockey in this film by playing a hot-dog rookie who cops the kind of attitude usually reserved for the NFL and NBA. Stephen Merchant was occasionally funny as Derek’s caseworker but more often than not he was trying too hard. Typically in a film like this the only people who escape unscathed are the kids that is true in the case of this film as well, Destiny Whitlock and Chase Ellison are both quite good especially Whitlock.
The most confusing casting question was actually, “What is Seth McFarlane doing in this film as the counterfeit fairy accessory dealer?”
This film isn’t immune from issues outside story though. The score sounds as if it was pulled from stock and had been recycled on many family films in the past.
The effects work, specifically on the popped out tooth and stretched face sequence were weak.
Those who may be forced to watch this film by their kids do note that in spite of the previous comments this film was still nowhere near as bad as expected. There are a few laughs despite the poor writing style and it is not too painful an experience.