Tooth Fairy is screenwriting on a first grade level, and though it’s being billed as family comedy, I’m pretty sure it was only ever meant for first graders. It’s a strangely specific audience really. Second graders are far too old, and will invariably see through this shitty script, which is constructed mainly from a series of bad puns. Kindergartners on the other hand, are too young and the intricacies of fairy politics are sure to be over their heads. First graders, they’ll enjoy this. It’s not for anyone else.
It stars The Rock as yet another sports figure forced to interact uncomfortably with kids. This time it happens because he’s turned into a tooth fairy for reasons which are so flimsy, they’re not even worth remembering. Since he’s a single guy unused to making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, I suppose it makes sense for him to talk to the film’s child co-stars in that high-pitched, uncomfortable voice which adults without kids always seem to use when forced to hang out with your toddler against their wishes. But that doesn’t explain why he uses that same, sing-songy tone when talking to Ashley Judd, or trading puns with Stephen Merchant, or threatening to bash in the heads of other hockey players. Does the silly willy goalie want his itsy bitsy teeth punched out? I bet he does! I just bet he does! Crunch.
That baby talk aesthetic carries over into the film’s production design as well, the whole thing feels like it was glued together out of construction paper by Miss Lippy while her pre-school class naps. For instance, the movie’s biggest effect involves The Rock being whisked to fairy land where he magically grows wings and encounters other fairies. This bit of movie magic was achieved by renting out what looks like an airport concourse, putting everyone in silk pajamas, and cobbling a bunch of wings together out of pipe cleaners. Then someone straps a wire to Julie Andrew’s ass and tells her to pretend she’s Mary Poppins. It’s not good.
But like I said, this is a movie for first graders. Anyone else will be utterly bored by it, except for a five minute sequence in the middle of the film in which Billy Crystal shows up for no particular reason and reminds us all of why he’s so goddamn hilarious and this movie is not. Billy’s the only thing worth remembering, in a throwaway role as the fairy equivalent of James Bond’s Q, who dispenses shrinking paste to The Rock and then turns the whole thing into a deviously sick sexual innuendo. God I wish I was watching a Billy Crystal movie right now. Where’s Miracle Max when you need him?
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