In "Bedtime Stories," we learn that life's possibilities are as limitless as the imagination.
And also that a limited imagination makes for so-so movies, like "Bedtime Stories," a likable but thin Disney vehicle for Adam Sandler that will play best for preteens.
Sandler plays Skeeter, a lowly maintenance worker at a posh hotel owned by the millionaire (Richard Griffiths) who swindled the property from Skeeter's father.
Skeeter resents his job and starts to resent his private life too when his estranged sister (Courteney Cox) suddenly dumps her two kids in his lap while she goes off to look for work.
This is comfortable territory for Sandler, who scored with similar material in "Big Brother" - unconventional baby sitter whose gift for making kids laugh also makes him attractive to women (Keri Russell is his love interest this time around).
In "Bedtime Stories," Skeeter wins over the children with his wild bedtime stories - medieval, wild west, outer space settings, each dramatized here, giving Sandler a chance to wear a series of goofy outfits and go for more slapstick laughs.
Skeeter learns that some of the events in the stories come true in real life, and so tries to engineer twists and turns that will help him regain control of the hotel (from rival Guy Pearce, who looks like he's in pain).
The performances are broad, and the story a bit busy - there are the kids, the hotel, the love story and still more about the developer's plans to blow up an elementary school. "Bedtime Stories" feels like a messy editing job.
It's right in Sandler's wheelhouse, though, and will play well with young fans who already regard him as the world's naughtiest baby sitter, though this movie is squeaky clean as far as Sandler movies go. *
Produced by Jack G*arraputo, Andrew Gunn, Adam Sandler, d*rected by Adam Shankman, wr*tten by Matt Lopez, T*m Herl*hy, mus*c by Rupert Gregson-W*ll*ams, d*str*buted by Walt D*sney Co.