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Daddy Day Care

  • compiled by Jeffrey Overstreet Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2003 1 Jan
Daddy Day Care
from Film Forum, 05/22/03

Eddie Murphy is winning compliments from religious press critics for Daddy Day Care, a family comedy in which he plays a man driven by necessity to open a childcare service. While mainstream critics are bemoaning the film as lacking in creativity or quality filmmaking, many Christian critics approve of its positive portrayal of fatherhood and positive message.

David Dicerto (Catholic News Service) says, "Though the fish-out-of-water plot is mired by a schmaltzy ending … director Steve Carr's film is buoyed by its heartwarming—albeit heavy-handed—affirmation of fatherhood."

Loren Eaton (Focus on the Family) says, "Daddy Day Care is quite possibly the cleanest movie Eddie Murphy has ever made. It also drives home a number of worthwhile points. The actions of the dynamic (and very male) day care duo provide a pep talk for hands-off dads everywhere."

Michael Elliott (Movie Parables) writes, "There's an undeniable sweetness to the film, as well as a surprising emotional depth to the relationships formed between the characters. Murphy connects with the children and they with him. … Even though the end is overly predictable, the ride is a family-friendly enjoyable romp."

Movieguide's critic calls it "nearly perfectly wholesome."

from Film Forum, 05/29/03

Last week, religious press film critics praised Eddie Murphy's new film as the cleanest and most moral movie of his career in comedy. But according to J. Robert Parks (The Phantom Tollbooth), "clean" does not necessarily mean "good."

Parks writes, "The film's first half hour … is a nightmare. Not only do the jokes fall with a resounding thud, but the characters and situations are hopelessly generic and predictable. Once the movie actually focuses on the day care center, I found myself entertained. But just when I thought Daddy Day Care might transcend its premise, the third act kicks in. In fact, the final half hour is just as bad as the first half hour." He goes into detail about the film's predictable cop-outs and clichés, and how a potentially funny circumstance chooses the easy way out.