Eddie Murphy, Jeff Garlin, Steve Zahn, Anjelica Huston
"Daddy Day Care" was a surprisingly entertaining & upbeat film from Eddie Murphy that I viewed immediately following "Ichi the Killer." Yes, I know I'm weird. Perhaps, that taints my rating for this film. I truly wanted, even needed something upbeat...and this film certainly fits the bill.
Let's face it...Eddie Murphy is making quite the living off of family films...most of which are fairly average, lightweight films that are safe films for the entire family. In fact, "safe" is a good word to describe these films.
Yet, this film separates itself in a couple different ways for me. First, I am a major fan of Steve Zahn...and there's almost no role I prefer Zahn in than one involving children. His role in "Happy, Texas" still brings a smile to my face. He just has a chemistry with children that is a joy to watch onscreen.
Murphy, who has made a career out of questionable film choices, simply does a nice job with family oriented films. Do they stretch his talent? no. Do they showcase his humor? no. Do they entertain? Generally, yes.
Also a joy in this film is Anjelica Huston...as a competing "headmistress", she combines a cartoonish quality with a satirical look at the new millenium of daycare.
The film features a killer soundtrack, including a live performance by Cheap Trick.
Overall, this film is certain lightweight...but, I personally admire a decent family film that doesn't resort to double entendres. I admire a family film that is simply lighthearted, sweet and fun. "Daddy Day Care" works on that level.
© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic