Daddy Day Care movie review, dvd, poster
Daddy Day Care Movie Poster

Daddy Day Care
Eddie Murphy, Jeff Garlin

Directed by Steve Carr
Rated PG
for language

out of Stars, Movie Grade: B-
movie trailer

Theatrical Release: May 9, 2003
Running time: 90 minutes

by Kevin Lang

Directed by Steve Carr, who previously directed Eddie Murphy in "Dr. Dolittle 2" (2001), "Daddy Day Care" was a predictable but enjoyable family comedy whose "cuteness" and consistent humor almost made up for what the story lacked.

The story is self explanatory from the previews. Two guys, Charlie (Eddie Murphy) and Phil (Jeff Garlin) lost their jobs at a marketing company after they failed to create a successful campaign for a vegetable cereal. Unemployed and running out of money, they decided to open up their own day care center, Daddy Day Care, and they soon found out that playing "mom" is harder than it looks.

"Daddy Day Care" was the best type of family movie. The humor appealed to both adults and kids. Parents, especially fathers, will be able to relate to Charlie and Phil as they try their best to wrangle the rug rats. The wives in the audience will just sit next to their husbands, laughing in agreement with what is unfolding onscreen.

"Can't men do anything that women can do?" Charlie asked in one scene. "No. No they can't," another man replied. "Daddy Day Care" utilized this theme as Charlie, Phil, and the Star Trek obsessed Marvin (Steve Zahn) attempted to stay in business despite complaints filed by the head of Chapman Academy, Mrs. Harridan (Anjelica Huston). Chapman was a prestigious local pre-school institution where students learned five different languages and even prepped for the SATs. Some parts were far-fetched, but never too far-fetched to be funny.

I did expect more conflict to arise at some point in the story as Mrs. Harridan attempted to sabotage Daddy Day Care. Most of the conflict ended up being Charlie's own internal conflict, which was somewhat heartfelt, but not satisfying enough. As a result, I didn't feel any great triumph for the Daddy Day Care center at the end. I would have liked to see Anjelica Huston's Mrs. Harridan utilized better, with more of a significant role in the film. Instead, she was nothing more than a minor nuisance to the men of Daddy Day Care.

In the end, "Daddy Day Care" mostly filled my expectations as it offered much of the humor that I had been anticipating. However, although enjoyable, it could have used a stronger story that didn't arrive at its resolution so easily.

"Daddy Day Care" Review written May 8, 2003, CTF.

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"Daddy Day Care" DVD

Daddy Day Care

DVD Features:

* Theatrical trailer(s)
* "Meet the DADDY DAY CARE Kids" featurette
* "Quiet on the Set!" featurette
* "Good Morning, Eddie Murphy!" featurette
* "What Did That Kid Say?" featurette
* Name the Noise Maker game
* Kid Card Match Up game
* Odd One Out game
* Blooper reel
* All-new animated short "Early Bloomers"
* Full-screen and widescreen anamorphic formats

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