Derek (Dwayne Johnson) is an ice-hockey player past his prime. In fact, nowadays he’s mostly famous for being the Tooth Fairy – meaning he body checks his opponents so hard, they regularly lose some teeth. When his girlfriend’s (Ashley Judd) daughter loses a tooth (the natural way, not a through a body check), Derek almost tells her that there’s not actually a tooth fairy since his disillusionment made him believe that all dreams are bad. For that, he is summoned to the Fairy World, where he’s convicted to serve two weeks as an actual Tooth Fairy. Shenanigans and life lessons ensue.
The Tooth Fairy is pretty much exactly as it sounds. Adults will get a few laughs out of it, but this movie is made for kids. And kids will like it (disclaimer: surprisingly, there was not one kid in the cinema with us, so this is a as of yet untested theory).
You might wonder why I went to see this movie in the first place. To this I can only say that you obviously don’t know me/haven’t been reading this blog for long or you’d know that I’d watch pretty much anything if you just give me a little incentive. In that case my incentive was Dwayne Johnson for whom, I have to admit it, I have a thing. [I probably should have said that I went to see it for Stephen Merchant to save my geek cred or for Julie Andrews, for purely nostalgic reasons but I’m just honest with you, people. The Rock is hot.]
So, now that the embarassing stuff is out of the way, on to the movie!
Dwayne Johnson is not a good actor. [SURPRISE!] I thought that he was particularly overacting this time round, but deadra (who had just rewatched The Mummy) assured me that it was his standard acting. Oy vay. But in this film, his acting chops really aren’t important. In fact, everything Julie Andrews and especially Stephen Merchant do, actingwise, is completely wasted. Ashley Judd obviously knows and doesn’t even try. Which still means that she outacts The Rock but it’s nowhere near her normal level.
Which is not to say that this is a bad movie. It just knows its target audience and that audience is not of too discerning taste. So, why should they bother with subtle or careful handling of sensitive subject matters if they can just entertain for 90 minutes?
What I did find interesting and kinda cool was that Ashley Judd’s Carly is a divorced mom with two kids and Dwayne Johnson’s Derek is her boyfriend – a boyfriend who has trouble bonding with the teenage son (though no trouble at all with the much younger daughter), who babysits the kids for Carly and who tries to get along with the kids not only to get into their mom’s pants. It seemed to me like they hit the nail on the head here about problems with this particular kind of patchwork family, without being all judgy about it.
I think in a time where patchwork families are more and more common, kids need movies where these patchwork families exist, not as a plot point (à la Cheaper by the Dozen or whatever) but just because these families do exist. And that the movies show that it’s not always easy being a family.
[Man, who would have thunk that I’d write so much about this movie?]
Summarising: Can be skipped until you either want to entertain some kids or want a few cheap laughs. Unless this image does something for you:
If so, you a) obviously share my kink for men in dresses and Dwayne Johnson and b) will absolutely love about ten minutes of the film.