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HOLIDAY MOVIE SNEAKS / 'Bedtime Stories'

An 'aw, gee' rating for Sandler

November 02, 2008|Susan King

There are no potty jokes, no crass Rob Schneider cameos or anybody by the name of Zohan in Adam Sandler's holiday movie, "Bedtime Stories," unwrapping in theaters on Christmas Day.

"It's the Adam Sandler movie that moms are actually going to want their kids to see," says director Adam Shankman ("Hairspray," "The Pacifier"). "We have never seen him sweeter. It is a true Disney film."

In the visual-effects-laden comedy, Sandler plays a hotel handyman named Skeeter Bronson who tells bedtime stories to his niece and nephew. "Through movie magic, the stories start to come true in odd ways in his daily life," Shankman says.

And like any good holiday movie, there is a lesson beyond the comedy and computer-graphic effects. "It's about discovering what is family and what is important to you," the director says.

Though Sandler respected the script, says Shankman, the comic actor wasn't above making changes. "When he wants to go off script, he does and we'll rewrite it. It's not like shutting down production while he goes to his trailer to write. It happens on the spot."

Shankman, who has worked with Steve Martin in "Bringing Down the House" and "Cheaper by the Dozen 2," enjoys collaborating with comedians because they are so self-aware, he says. "They are really good with character because they have plumbed their personal demons in order to be comedians," he says. "They are generally very smart and very observant. And, frankly, I just like to laugh."

-- Susan King

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