Friday, May 14, 2010

Do You Believe in The Tooth Fairy?

Typically, I'm a girlie-girl. And kind of a movie snob. So it comes as a bit of a surprise to me that I love The Rock. He's a former wrestler; I don't do wrestling. His movies are silly; I roll my eyes every time my husband mentions Dumb and Dumber.

But you gotta admit, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is hilarious. The majorly muscled former WWE star has found his niche, playing the big tough guy who isn't afraid to get in touch with his frilly, feminine side. I mean c'mon, he let Hannah Montana paint his face with bright blue eye shadow and pink lipstick. And most recently, he actually put on a pink tutu (and allowed himself to be filmed in it) for his starring role in The Tooth Fairy.

In his latest film, Johnson stars as a Minor League hockey star who has given up on his dream of getting back to the Majors. Dubbed "The Tooth Fairy" by fans who love to watch him smash heads and knock out teeth, he is rapidly becoming a washed up has-been. He doesn't believe in dreams, and crushes those of everyone around him.

But when he almost tells his girlfriend's daughter that the tooth fairy doesn't exist, he's gone too far. Suddenly, he finds himself serving time as a real tooth fairy. (Yeah, apparently there are thousands of them, all led by Mary Poppins). What follows is a formulaic and sappy story of a man who slowly learns to believe in dreams again. The message of the film, that you can't give up on your dreams, is not very deep. I have to admit though, that watching the Rock prance around with a giant pair of wings as funny as it was intended to be, as is the cameo by Billy Crystal.

Yet, as funny as parts of the movie are, I have to question exactly what audience The Tooth Fairy is intended for. As I watched it with my husband after my own children were asleep, I found myself thinking that (despite the PG rating) it's not really a kid's movie. True, the movie reinforces the idea that there is a tooth fairy (and my kids are young enough that they still believe), but it's mostly a story for adults, a message film about how we need to find our on inner child and be willing to believe like we could when we were young.

And, besides, it's just not a very good movie. I was excited by the previews, but the script falls flat, and even The Rock's comedic genius and the presence of Julie Andrews can't save bad writing. If you're looking for a good laugh, you'll probably enjoy the movie, but if you're looking for a great movie to watch with your kids, look elsewhere.

It seems to me, that if we need a reminder of the power of dreams, we just have to look at our children. Children don't need a lame movie to remind them that life is full of magic and possibilities. They already know.

They already believe in the tooth fairy.

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