Twelve Things about Tooth Fairy
12. There is another movie with the title The Tooth Fairy (and a third whose title includes the words Darkness Falls) that I'd be reviewing instead if this were an ideal world. All I have to say for myself is that I was baby-sitting and couldn't watch what I wanted . . . although there is nothing that could make me want the one I watched. =P
11. Well, I did like the word play here. Even before Derek Thompson becomes one of many winged Tooth Fairies, he is the Tooth Fairy of minor league hockey. It's the kind of nickname you end up with when you can hit other players hard enough to knock out a tooth or two.
What I find most interesting, however, are the puns . . . "You can't handle the tooth! And that's the tooth, the whole tooth and nothing but the tooth!" You'll find a lot of teeth in this movie, you see, but it's a challenge to spot the truths.
10. What? Think I'm being too hard on a movie that doesn't pretend to be more than a low-grade Fantasy?
I believe that fantastic elements and universal truths can (and should) co-exist in fiction. And well, the first problem with Tooth Fairy is that even its own fantasy elements can't co-exist with each other.
Whether they're CGI or actual costumes, they're equally bad.
9. But I must give credit to the writer who thought up the joke that is so self-aware it's almost meta.
We hear it during the scene when Derek is trying to bond with his girlfriend's two children. He sticks french fries in his mouth for fake fangs and manages to amuse the little girl. Her teenage brother isn't so impressed. And when Derek starts bragging about being "The Tooth Fairy" again, the boy retorts:
"I thought you were a vampire. You've got some inconsistent mythology."
ROFL!!! Yeah, you tell him, kid!
8. I know you don't really like it when I get too deep on you, so I've boiled what would have been a two-hour lecture into three salient points:
a) I don't care how gullible you think your audience is: mythology should always be your first concern.
b) You're already a poor excuse for an artist if, for even one second, you think of your audience as "gullible."
c) There is nothing like mucked up mythology for mass consumption to let you know that you're living in an age of unbelief.
7. Speaking of mythology, I wonder if any of the actors agreed to be in this because The Santa Clause did so well with a similar formula all those years ago. (Not that there's any other comparison: The Santa Clause actually puts serious effort into world building, although it doesn't come off as serious itself.)
6. Now what is it with Action Star Au Pairs (See my Top Five List!) and single mothers? Is there no other way to explain how some tough guy who wouldn't normally be around kids has several in his life?
Then again, it's logical for fiction. Unless the children are also orphans, they'll need two parents . . . and the tough guy character--even one as juvenile as Derek is here--simply makes a father character redundant. (It might also have something to do with the furies of single motherhood wanting to make all fathers redundant.)
5. Back to the mythology (or what passes for it) . . .
It is after Derek almost tells a little girl that there's no such thing as a tooth fairy that he finds--under his pillow, of course--a Disbelief in Fairy Summons. It is the beginning of his "community service" from
4. But Derek is a "disseminator of disbelief" in more than one way. At the start of the movie, he tells a little boy who has asked for his autograph that the boy, third highest scorer in his little league, has little to no chance at being drafted for a Major League Hockey team.
"Lower your expectations. That's how you're going to be happy."
Having survived my quarter life crisis, I think it's actually good advice. But here it's tainted by a grown man wanting to show up a little kid who has just bruised his ego . . . and completely overwhelmed by that dogma of Family Friendly Films that dreaming big is good.
3. You know what's really ironic, though? Expectations don't get any more unrealistic than putting a milk tooth under your pillow and expecting to get money for it.
Some fantasies probably do deserve to be crushed--and I'm not saying this to be mean.
2. But I already feel mean, so I'll say now that there was one point at which the movie got me to suspend everything but pure enjoyment.
The scene in which Derek takes control of the puck and looks to make his first shot in years had me screaming as loudly as the fans at the rink. I was so into it that the kid I was watching this with thought I had suddenly gone nuts. (Not that I'm ruling out that possibility.)
1. When the movie finally ended (and I had finished explaining to my young charge why telling a Julie Andrews character that you've brought her "some of her favourite things" is hilarious), I found myself wishing for some amnesia dust to erase the memory of the last 101 minutes.
And then I realised that forgetting I had seen this movie might lead to me seeing it again. =P
Image Source: The Tooth Fairy DVD, b) Fakest Wings Ever 1, c) Fakest Wings Ever 2