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Tooth Fairy (2010)

Rating: 7/10

Fine, I admit it—I laughed during Tooth Fairy. Quite a few times, too. I’m not exactly sure what this says about my current taste in film, but that’s just fine. Having just defended Alvin and the Chipmunks, I’m prepared to take my lumps. But honestly, Tooth Fairy is actually pretty good—and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is doing a good job of establishing himself as the guy to call for family movie fun. Who would’ve thought?

Here, Johnson is Derek Thompson, a somewhat washed up hockey player whose claim to fame is as The Tooth Fairy—because he makes a habit of knocking out his opponents’ teeth. He’s got it pretty good really, with his beautiful girlfriend Carly (Ashley Judd) and her kids, but there’s still a bitterness in Derek that causes him to squash the dreams of those around him (“You’ll never make it as a hockey player”; “There’s no Santa”; etc.). This bitter streak doesn’t go unnoticed, and soon, Derek has to offer reparations in the form of two weeks of Tooth Fairy duty, which means he’s forced to don wings and gather teeth from under pillows until he discovers the error of his ways.

It’s a goofy premise and a goofy movie, but despite what you may have heard, it works, due in the most part to its cast. Again, Johnson excels at this kind of role, mainly because he never seems embarrassed or condescending about his role. Even in a tutu dressed like a fairy, there’s never the impression that he’s about to roll his eyes at us and exonerate himself from the silliness—he’s definitely in all the way. And really—who makes a better Head of the Tooth Fairies than Julie Andrews? Billy Crystal also has a small but fun part as the guy who makes the magic gadgets and potions for the fairies—it’s a role very reminiscent of his part in The Princess Bride, and it still works. It goes without saying that there’s nothing especially remarkable about this film, but it’s also not at all as bad as some have touted it, and is, in fact, entertaining and even amusing in parts. There’s nothing risqué or potentially offensive for the younger kids, and older kids will still be interested. Not everything is great—Judd is basically girlfriend cardboard, and even though character depth isn’t a necessity in a film like this, the relationship between Derek and Carly seems odd—she lets him babysit her kids AND isn’t at all angry that he has a poker game at her house, but he’s barely spent any time with her surly son? But, again, this is a movie to make kids chuckle and offer parents an alternative to singing chipmunks, and in that, it does so admirably.

It's Got: The Rock, Some laughs, Julie Andrews

It Needs: Better love interest, a bit more background, more Billy Crystal


Better than it’s given credit for, this proves that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is one of the best out there right now when it comes to kid flicks.