The Time-Wasting Story of the Year!
Tuesday, Jun. 17, 2003

On Saturday it rained, of course. That's what we've been getting here in New York, rain by the riverful, especially on the weekends, for the last...I'm going to say 2 months or so, although it feels like much longer, coming on the heels of a very snowy winter. Sometimes, when Ye Olde Weather Deities feel like we haven't been tortured enough, they'll do that thing where it's sunny for an hour or so, just long enough for you to put on shorts and pack up the kids and the car and go outside somewhere, and then when you get there, the clouds have already started to edge back over the sky and you know it's coming back and then it's raining again goddamnshitpissfuck.

Anyway, I took the Little Nipper (that's my son; my daughter is either The Mouth or Sarah, a/k/a Sarah Bernhardt) to the movies. We went to see Daddy Day Care, mostly because a) we'd already seen Finding Nemo and b) we can't see Rugrats Go Wild! without his sister.


Perhaps the most disappointing thing about the movie was that, made the right way, a movie about a day care center run by fathers could, I think, really be good. It could be funny and address the whole "men? Taking care of kids?" issue, which is completely glossed over in DDC, in a real way.

But that's not the movie that Eddie Murphy chose to make.

Parenthetically, I spent much of the movie reviewing in my head the agonizing downward spiral of his career. This guy was, circa Trading Places and Beverly Hills Cop, the biggest movie star in the world, seriously. The last fifteen years have seen him fall to earth, with a celebrated arrest for, if I remember correctly, being caught with a transsexual prostitute, and a string of movies featuring talking animals, fat suits and innumerable fart jokes. Coming To America has its moments, and I'm a big fan of the underrated Bowfinger, but other than those two, Eddie Murphy has been long gone for me. Eddie Murphy, the guy who almost had me peeing in my pants during Delirious and Raw.

Anyway, the movie Eddie chose to make here can, I think, best be described as innocuous. Silly, perhaps. Shallow, definitely. That's a good thing, in its way; I was worried, before the show started, that the Nipper would be repeating Variations on a Gastrointestinal Theme (with his sister joining in after a while) for the next year or so. That didn't happen, for which I am sincerely grateful, but there was also no there there. It was a bunch of pallid scenes leading to limp "punchlines". There might have been a couple of "heh"s in there, but that's about it.

It's not that the movie was bad; it wasn't. It was...serviceable. It filled up the time I needed it to fill up, and didn't offend me as a parent. Again, don't get me wrong, that's not an inconsiderable feat lately, but I just felt that it could have been so much more.

Next time, maybe we'll go bowling or something.

Posted by mikeski at 5:29 p.m.