Tooth Fairy (2010) - Can't Stop the Movies
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Tooth Fairy (2010)

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Andrew INDIFFERENTI don’t remember how old I was when I realized that the Tooth Fairy was all a bunch of malarkey.  My discovery of its non-existence wasn’t really what you’d call a life altering event; really it was just confirmation that my parents were rewarding me for aging.  I’d lose a tooth, get a dollar, and then we’d all go along our merry way.  This is an excellent way to describe Tooth Fairy.  It’s not really unpleasant while it’s on, it rewards you with the slightest of entertainment, and then you can go on your merry way with the film barely registering as a memory.

It’s not really like the material is meant to be of Earth shattering importance, but it’s nice to see that the filmmakers at least tried to have some fun with such a lightweight story.  Tooth Fairy stars Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as Derek Thompson (Dwayne Johnson to Derek Thompson, good job there screenwriters) who has a stirring professional career in hockey by not necessarily being good, but by knocking the teeth out of his opponents when he body checks them.

This is done with the absolute minimum amount of subtlety the first time we see this as Derek actually body checks the opposing player through the glass.  As far as entertainment value goes this is actually built up to with some modicum of skill so it’s not necessarily unamusing, just kind of dull.  But all is not excitement in Derek’s tooth shattering reality as he is seen as an over the hill hockey player with a gimmick, and dealing with his own relationship issues off the ice.

While bonding with his girlfriends children he almost tells them the truth about the tooth fairy, and that it’s all a bunch of hooey.  Now that’s not exactly an earth shattering revelation, but it gets Derek noticed by the league of tooth fairies who summon him to their worldwide headquarters with a ticket notifying him of his disbelief.  Once there, he finds out that he is being penalized for his lack of faith in tooth fairydom by assuming the mantle of a tooth fairy for several weeks.

This brings us the sight of the fairy command center.  A place of a little imagination (I liked that the standard uniform is a tutu and pair of tights) and the scene of plot complications to come for a man with a hockey career. The whole enterprise is run by Lily, a fairy played by Julie Andrews, and brings the role as much natural magical charm as she can.  We also get a brief cameo from Billy Crystal who seems to desperately desire Princess Bride levels of makeup as he rambles on and on about the tooth fairy arsenal.  Once outfitted, Derek is assigned a trainer (the improbably tall British comedian Stephen Merchant) and bumbles his way towards tooth retrieval.

From then on the movie settles into a comfortable routine of running parallel stories between Derek’s tooth fairy existence and his attempts to bond with the children outside.  Derek struggles to make his girlfriends depressed son feel a little better about himself, while trying not to shatter his dreams with cold, hard reality.  But Tooth Fairy isn’t really interested in dreams deferred, its more interested in providing as much schmaltzy heartfelt sentiment as possible in the real world scenes and as much colorful “zany” antics as possible when Derek puts on the fairy wings.

All in all it’s really not horrible, just not terribly good.  Dwayne Johnson oozes charisma and is one of the most charming performers working in movies right now.  He fits right into the scenes with the kids without making things seem awkward or forced.  Plus there’s a certain amount of humor that the movie squeezes out of his machismo image being consistently undone by tights and a pair of glittery wings.

Tooth Fairy goes no further than this.  As a kid friendly entertainment goes it could be a lot worse, and there’s a little bit to like in the delivery (I can’t stress enough how wonderful Julie Andrews is even in this lightweight endeavor).  But all in all it’s pretty by the numbers family movie making and not terribly recommended, even for the amusing sight of seeing Mr. Johnson in a tutu, which is almost worth the price of admission.

DVD Extras: The Tooth Fairy Training Camp, a exercise course for little kids; and Fairyoke, which has Dwayne Johnson and Stephen Merchant singing “Wind Beneath My Wings” (a little more amusing than you might expect).

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Tooth Fairy (2010)

Directed by Michael Lembeck.
Written by Lowell Ganz, Babaloo Mandel, Joshua Sternin, Jeffrey Ventimilia, Randi Mayem Singer.
Starring Dwayne Johnson, Julie Andrews and Stephen Merchant.

Posted by Andrew

Comments (1) Trackbacks (1)
  1. Gotta be honest, Stephen Merchant and Dwayne Johnson dueting sounds pretty amusing.

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