Projections - Movie Reviews
With Jim Sabatini

The Tooth Fairy

The Tooth Fairy
Ashley Judd, Julie Andrews, Billy Crystal and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson

Rated: PG mild language, some rude humor and sports action
Reviewed by: Jim  
Release date: January 22, 2010 Released by: Twentieth Century Fox

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson can't capitalize on his success in The Game Plan to make another likeable family comedy.

The Tooth Fairy stars the ex-wrestler, Ashley Judd, Julie Andrews, and Billy Crystal.

A bad deed on the part of Johnson's tough minor-league hockey player Derek Thompson results in an unusual "community service." He must serve a two-week stint as a real-life tooth fairy. At the behest of Lily the Head Fairy (Andrews, down from The Princess Diaries).

Derek's nickname comes from his bruising style of play in a sport where many turn out for the hard-hitting and occasional pugilistic forays.

This insistent, toothless comedy, however, needed more amnesia dust for the filmmakers thinking that a penance for denying a youngster's dreams would yield some kind of fun fantasy.

A serious-minded Derek is compromising his standing on and off the ice as he's not getting along with the kids, Tess (an adorable Destiny Whitlock), and teenage guitar player Randy (Chase Ellison), of his girlfriend (Judd). No rapport between Johnson and Judd doesn't help the star's on-screen presence here, along with the embarrassment of donning tights, a pale pink tutu and oversized wings while sneaking into homes to procure all that new whiteness from the pillows of sleeping kids.

Under Michael Lembeck's direction, which didn't work very well at all for The Santa Clause sequels, The Tooth Fairy flounders under the maudlin might of realizing what might have been. The problematic plotting includes many fairy gags as it shifts to and from the real world not too convincingly.

Besides Andrews, there is backup from an imposing Stephen Merchant as a case fairy worker named Tracy with a bit of wing envy. Crystal does his wry schtick as fairy trick supplier Jerry who has dog bark mints, invisible spray, and shrinking, besides the aforementioned amnesia dust in his bag.

You have to really lower your expectations in this evaporating type of comedy to stay happy as Derek mentions with the small consolation of Andrews and Crystal in a lively sequence during the final credits.

  Frank Chris Jim Nina Sam Howard Jennifer Kathleen  Avg. 
The Tooth Fairy  B-      D                  C- 

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