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Daddy Day Care

movie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: Daddy Day Care

Starring: Eddie Murphy, Anjelica Huston
Director: Steve Carr
Rated: PG
RunTime: 92 Minutes
Release Date: May 2003
Genre: Comedy

*Also starring: Susan Santiago, Steve Zahn, Michelle Krusiec, Makenzie Vega, Jeff Garlin, Regina King

Review by Susan Granger
3 stars out of 4

Chock full of his "Dr. Doolittle" charm, Eddie Murphy's back in this hilarious comedy as a father who loses his high-paying advertising job and opens a daycare center. It all begins when he and his buddy (Jeff Garlin) can't push Veggie-Os, a vegetable-flavored breakfast cereal, down kids' throats in a "taste test." Not only does that endeavor collapse but their entire natural foods division is shut down, forcing him to pull his son (Khamani Griffin) out of Chapman Academy, the Princeton of play-schools, run by villainous Anjelica Huston. Feeling like failures, the fathers realize there's a real need for affordable daycare. "This is not rocket science," Eddie tells his lawyer wife (Regina King). "We're not gonna get rich but it will keep us out of bankruptcy."

After assembling a group of three and four year-olds, he passes out a "mission statement," not realizing his charges can't read. In fact, chaos reigns as the sugar-frenzied moppets run riot through the house. "It's either planned activities or Ritalin and leashes," he concludes. So the guys hold a "focus group" to determine the curriculum and then work hard to make their students happy, teaching them to interact, play games, even read. They're so successful that Chapman's enrollment plummets as more neighborhood youngsters transfer to the free-spirited facility. Soon they're forced to hire an affable helper (Steve Zahn) who's zoned into Star Trek and other super-hero fantasies. Writer Geoff Rodkay and director Steve Carr create a delightfully paternal atmosphere of wit and warmth, despite the inevitable poop and potty jokes - and the cute, quirky kids are irresistible. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Daddy Day Care" is an uproarious 7. It's fun-filled family entertainment and don't miss the amusing out-takes in the final credits.

Copyright 2003 Susan Granger

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