Movie Reviews: Daddy Day Care




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     Columbia Pictures (1 hr. 32 min.)
     A father loses his lucrative "dot-com" job, and finds himself opening a day care center.
     Eddie Murphy, Steve Zahn, Anjelica Huston, Lacey Chabert
Bottom Line:


Remember when Eddie Murphy was funny?

I mean "Beverly Hills Cop"/"48 Hours" funny?

God forbid he should make anymore sequels to those movies. However, I would like to see the same kind of energy and wit Murphy exhibited in those earlier flicks.

His latest offering, "Daddy Day Care," although light years better than that gadawful "Pluto Nash," is funny only to anyone under the age of 10 or with an IQ well below room temperature.

The premise is simple. Murphy plays Charlie Hinton, a dot-bomb casualty. Suddenly stuck at home in the role of Mr. Mom babysitting his son Ben (Khamari Griffin), Hinton begins looking fast for a new job. Especially after his wife, (Regina King) returns to work as a lawyer and becomes the new family breadwinner.

After Hinton gets the idea of starting a "guy-run" day care center in his home called, "Daddy Day Care." Hinton enlists the help of unemployed best friend Phil (Jeff Garlin) and former coworker Marvin (Steve Zahn) who is a natural with kids.

And where would any Eddie Murphy movie be without the inevitable toilet joke? So of course the day care center gets off to a doubtful start with the usual kiddies’ hi-jinks that happens when men try to corral energetic kids -- fart jokes, a swift kick-in-the-crotch and kiddie poop everywhere. But even Murphy knows those cliches can carrying a movie so far -- even if it’s driven by his star power. So he finds his hero a villain.

Enter Gwyneth Harridan (Anjelica Huston), the evil owner of expensive competitor Chapman Academy. Harridan gets jealous once gets Hinton’s gender-bending center is up and running smoothly. So she starts sabotaging the operation. The ending is a predicable "Jackass" for elementary kids with a moral that men can be great parents. I think the moral is Murphy can be funny, engaging and lovable, but he misses the mark with "Daddy Day Care."



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