Daddy Day Care (2003)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Domestic Comedy, Farce, Workplace Comedy  |   Release Date - May 9, 2003 (USA)  |   Run Time - 93 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - PG
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Review by Jeremy Wheeler

2003 saw Eddie Murphy continue his decline into safe, family-friendly territory with the surprise hit Daddy Day Care. Bearing an unbelievable 60-million-dollar budget, this lighthearted comedy might please the kiddies, but most others will be too busy trying to remember where they put their Best of Eddie Murphy video. Frustratingly bad at points, the jokes simply fall flat with each attempt. Not only can you see the setups a mile away, but the lazy editing and direction end up killing what payoffs they had. Again, the kids won't care, as they'll be too transfixed with the cool kid in the Flash costume to care about the lameness surrounding him. Thankfully, the rest of the little tykes are just as adorable, but since when is that enough to carry a film? It's like the writers didn't understand how to make a movie that caters to the whole audience, so they just dumbed the jokes down enough so that the corny material would be universally understood. The leads all punch their timecards on this one, with Steve Zahn providing the best sparse moments in the film. Otherwise, Murphy is an exaggerated bore. Jeff Garlin is horribly underused. And Anjelica Huston chews it up in (while showing off much leg) in an unneeded and nasty villain role. Ultimately, the sad thing is seeing Murphy slumming it with such a hopeless and cheesy family morality role. Where he once had edge, now lies poorly done potty humor and fake heart.