Corporate Line: When a father (Murphy) loses his lucrative “dotcom” job, and finds himself in jeopardy of financial ruin, he joins his friends (Zahn, Garlin) in opening a free-spirited “guy-run” business called “Daddy Day Care” (in his house), much to the chagrin of the owner (Huston) of a more traditionally-operated rival center.
The Good: The kids are cute and are much funnier than the rest of the cast. Actually Steve Zahn is funny on occasion. Garlin has one fun bit where he plays guitar. Murphy barely gets off more than a couple good lines. The boy who plays Eddie Murphy’s son is cute and quite fun. Flash is funny, and a few of the kids have nice quirks that set up the often flat jokes. There are bits that come off funny however if not for the kiddies this film would have been dead.
The Bad: The reason it would have been dead is the lack of a team. Eddie Murphy and the Jeff Garlin aren’t interesting. Murphy is held up by the kids and Garlin is the typical fat guy who does every clichéd thing expected.
The screenplay is completely color by numbers. It doesn’t take you more than a quarter of the way into the film to realize how this thing is going to unfold. It’s not intended to be a mystery but leaving something up to surprise would have been nice. Half way through the film you sit, watch and wait for everything you know will happen come to fruition. The worst part is one scene where there is an attempt to raise money. It looks like their fundraiser would cost more than what they are attempting to raise funds for. This is most idiotic.
Frankly: Everyone seems to think they can run a daycare. The film taps into something that is true and I’m sure more than a few families have thought about it. Daddy Day Care isn’t outside the realm of reality until you get towards the end with the boring villain and climax. You’ll laugh, but save yourself some grief and leave half way through it.
+ charlie craine