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TOOTH FAIRY

SYNOPSIS:
Derek Thompson (Dwayne Johnson) is a league ice-hockey player nicknamed The Tooth Fairy for his rough habit on the field of knocking out his opponents' teeth. When Derek tells Tess (Destiny Whitlock), the young daughter of his girlfriend (Ashley Judd) the tooth fairy is not real, he finds himself magically in Fairyland, sentenced to a couple of weeks working as a real tooth fairy. To his horror, Derek realizes there is no alternative but to obey Lily the Head Fairy (Julie Andrews) and as he adapts to his new position, he remembers his own forgotten dreams.

Review by Louise Keller:
Believing anything is possible is the theme of this forced, saccharine fantasy in which The Rock becomes a tooth fairy as penance for his habit of killing dreams. Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson has a pleasant onscreen presence, but with material as flimsy and humourless as this, he looks blatantly ridiculous wearing a pale pink tutu, tights and oversize wings, sneaking into homes to collect newly lost teeth from under the pillows of sleeping children. The best part of the film is a short prologue scene with Billy Crystal and Julie Andrews under the closing credits, which has more energy than the whole film put together, but sadly is small compensation.

Lower your expectations: that's how you'll be happy, says Johnson's Derek Thompson, as he bursts everyone's bubble. You too must lower your expectations, if you intend to see this lightweight comedy.

We learn from the start that Derek's Tooth Fairy nickname emanates from the rough and tumble field of ice hockey, where in his hey-day he was a killer of the game and responsible for the lost teeth of his embattled opponents. We also learn he takes himself far too seriously and is struggling to keep his position both on the field and in his relationship with his girlfriend (Ashley Judd). The problem is that he just can't get on with her kids. What kind of guy would steal the tooth-fairy dollar from under little Tess's (Destiny Whitlock) pillow to finance his poker game - and as for her teenage son Randy (Chase Ellison), he just doesn't know how to get through to him. It doesn't help that there's no chemistry between The Rock and Judd; they are a total mismatch.

Nothing works. Not the lame storyline, the perpetual use of fairy gags or the integration of the real and the fantasy world, in which the great Julie Andrews plays Lily, the Head Fairy as a cross school teacher. English comic Stephen Merchant, who towers above The Rock at 6ft 7, plays Tracy, the case worker fairy with wing envy and Billy Crystal is the ever-kidding Jerry, who offers Derek the little bag of fairy tricks comprising shrinking paste, invisible spray, magic wand, dog bark mints and amnesia dust, all of which are used in unsuccessful bids to extract laughs.

The only cast members to come off unscathed are sweet little Destiny Whitlock with her missing front teeth and 16 year old Chase Ellison, who plays a mean guitar and impresses all round.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 1
Mixed: 0

TOOTH FAIRY (G)
(US/Canada, 2010)

CAST: Dwayne Johnson, Ashley Judd, Stephen Merchant, Julie Andrews, Ryan Sheckler

PRODUCER: Jason Blum, Mark Ciardi, Gordon Gray

DIRECTOR: Michael Lembeck

SCRIPT: Lowell Ganz & Babaloo Mandel and Joshua Sternin & Jeffrey Ventimilia and Randi Mayem Singer

CINEMATOGRAPHER: David Tattersall

EDITOR: David Finfer

MUSIC: George S. Clinton

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Marcia Hinds

RUNNING TIME: 101 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: 20th Century Fox

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: January 14, 2010







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