Friday, July 08, 2011

Forget the kids -- go see ZOOKEEPER yourself

I like Kevin James, so I was pretty sure that I'd like Zookeeper, though I had my doubts about the target audience when I saw the preview. I assume that they are calling this a "Family movie."  The whole premise is that he got dumped 5 years ago, never got over her, and now she's back, and he thinks he might have a second chance.  However, she leads him to believe that she'll only be interested if he quits his unglamorous (in her opinion) job. The animals don't want to lose the best zookeeper they've ever had, so they surprise him when they tell him what to do.

I was invited to a screening yesterday, and even though Kyle thought the commercials were funny, I didn't think that the plot was Kyle-appropriate.  I took Amanda (12 1/2) instead.

She was happy to have an outing with me (even more so because we got cupcakes before the movie), but when I asked her if she would have wanted to see it anyway, she said "It has talking animals, Mom!" But then I gave her my lecture about how enjoying a movie involves suspension of disbelief.

And in fact, we both laughed and enjoyed the sweet romantic comedy.

But I'm really quite glad that I didn't take Kyle. Aside from the fact that the storyline just isn't age-appropriate, there were several things that I just don't need my 7-year-old repeating.  For example, since the animals are "experts at mating" they give him advice. This advice includes the bears coaching him on how to walk and swagger and telling him to "lead with his pudding cup."  The wolf tells him to mark his territory (yes, with pee), and the monkey says he just throws poop at girls.  This wasn't just in one scene. These tactics were referred to a few times.

This kind of all for one marketing (to kids of all ages from 3 on up, and aiming to appeal to adults as well) is one thing that bugs me about kids' movies (see my whole list of beefs at 5 Minutes for Mom), but as a movie for adults or tweens/teens, I like it. 

If you like romantic comedies with some silly Kevin James/Adam Sandler (one of the producers) type humor, and can suspend your disbelief, I can recommend Zookeeper.  I wasn't sorry that my middle school daughter was with me, but it's not the kind of movie I'd take Kyle to, although he probably would have enjoyed it.  I will say that adults made up the majority in this pre-release screening audience, and there were lots of laughs.

They don't make these kinds of PG movies much anymore. It's a shame that a movie that is targeted to adults has to ramp the crude humor or language up even more.  I recently said the same thing about Monte Carlo, which I reviewed on 5 Minutes for Mom, and I can also recommend, either for a girls' night out or for a mothers and daughters.


Lauren said...

Thanks for your review. My kids are asking to see it, and I figured it wouldn't be one that I would want them to see. I hate that they have to ruin a kid-friendly plot with that kind of humor!

Jennifer, Snapshot said...

Yes, the humor is inappropriate, but my biggest beef is that it's not really a kid-friendly plot.

It's the story of a grown man and a grown woman in a relationship, and her trying to change him and him trying to change to please her. It's your typical adult rom-com plot draped in a setting that will appeal to kids. Weird marketing, and I don't think it's going to work out well for them.

morninglight mama said...

Okay, I have to admit that I scoffed when I talked to my mom the other day and she said she wanted to see this. It looked like it was going to be just awful to me... but that was with the thinking that it was a kids/family movie. Hmmm... the way you describe it, I think my mom would be quite amused, and maybe a rental for me. :)

Jennifer, Snapshot said...

Yep, Dawn. Other than talking animals, there's nothing juvenile about it.