Daddy Day Care

Bomb Rating: 

After "The Adventures of Pluto Nash," Eddie Murphy's career is sinking faster than the reputation of Michael Jackson's plastic surgeon. While the next step in professional suicide often involves co-starring with an animal, Murphy has chosen the next best thing, the "look, I'm really easy to get along with" makeover masquerading as a cry for help (or a new agent): the funny, non-threatening fat-guy sidekick.

Charlie (Murphy) and Phil (Jeff Garlin) lose their corporate jobs and suddenly see a market for day care after Charlie realizes he can't afford the school run by Miss Harridan (Anjelica Huston), a woman whose ideas about structure and discipline would make William Bennett donate his gambling winnings to the Clinton School for Wayward Boys.

Thus begins our introduction to the wacky, wacky world of incompetent male parenting. Naturally, Charlie and Phil, along with kid magnet Marvin (Steve Zahn), will eventually learn to love children, re-evaluate their lives, and parent like Bill Cosby on ecstasy, but before then, they will wallow in more predictable chaos than drunk White Sox fans at an umpire convention.

To cap this off, director Steve Carr rolls credits to "ABC" by The Jackson 5. It's a tribute to the hallucinatory effects of modern narcotics that the filmmakers foresaw no problem with this particular song, thus proving how out of touch Hollywood is with actual humans. Those of us who are sane know better than to associate Jackson with a kids' film -- the two go together about as well as oil and water, cats and dogs, or Ebert and spandex.

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