Julie Andrews Deserves Better Than The Rock's Tooth Fairy
It's been my experience that women with six- or seven-year old children do not want to dislike Julie Andrews. They tend to hold fond memories of Julie Andrews' legacy of family fare, including the cheery musicals they watched when they were young and newer work such as The Princess Diaries. They want to pass on to their children what should be their birthright: a love of the beloved and royally loveable Julie Andrews.
Sure, Mary Poppins can wear out her welcome if it's the only video the children will watch during a multi-day bout of flu. Sure, too many repeats of Julie's Favorite Things can make a mother beg for a David Cronenberg marathon. But in most cases, mothers want to hold Julie Andrews in high esteem and close to their hearts.
So why does Julie Andrews hate these mothers so?
And why does Julie Andrews hate her own brilliant and exhaustively built career so much that she wants to sully it in her 74th year, with Tooth Fairy, a trite family comedy which opened last weekend across the country?
Why, Julie, why?
Diyah Pera/20th Century Fox
Reviews are wretched. Rotten Tomatoes puts Tooth Fairy at 16% rotten. Couldn't Julie have guessed these poor results from the script? The story centers on a curmudgeon jock, played by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, who is caught shooting down children's self-esteem and dreams. His personal growth breaks through like a permanent tooth after being sentenced to community service as, you guess it, a Tooth Fairy. Can't you see the homophobic jokes juxtaposed with treacle-laden character lessons a mile away on this one? Couldn't Julie?
Julie, remarkable, industrious, lifetime-achieving, multi-award-winning Julie Andrews is stuck playing Lily, The Rock's boss. Ashley Judd plays The Rock's girlfriend. Perhaps I should go easy on Julie, as Jane Murphy at Inside Movies wrote that the film looked good on paper:
For a kiddie flick, Tooth Fairy has some impressive players. The screenplay was co-written by Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel, responsible for some comedy classics (Splash, Parenthood). British comic Stephen Merchant (creator of The Office, along with Ricky Gervais) is said to steal scenes as a member of Fairyland's middle management. And even Billy Crystal delivers a cameo.
Still, the concept as a vehicle for The Rock should have raised big red flags that this film was not a fair film for Julie to appear in. Worse, out on the press circuit stumping for an audience, Julie has sounded like a salacious cougar praising her co-star. Stacee, who recaps episodes of The View at The View Watch, wrote this about Julie's visit to the show:
Julie Andrews appeared first. Julia is in the new movie, The Tooth Fairy, which also stars Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. Julia said when she first saw him, he was wearing a tutu and wings. She said he still looks delicious.
Delicious? Buff jocks in tights and befeathered with wings, these are a few of her favorite things?
Even though I don't have young children asking me to go see it, everything about Tooth Fairy makes me sad: the fact that Julia Andrews' time is wasted in it; the fact that mothers might have to sit through it, again and again, in order to share a movie experience with their children; and the fact that it was even made. The fact that, as blogger Anna Viele of ABDPBT says, that we live in "... a country so desperate for escape that it is seriously considering watching a movie made about The Tooth Fairy which stars a former wrestler named after a lump or mass of hard consolidated mineral matter."
It's hard to find a bright side, but Katy, who writes at One Year in Texas, predicts an outcome that somehow strengthens her blog, so more power to her.
Thousands upon millions of young children will flock to the movie theatre to see Tooth Fairy. Suddenly children everywhere are approaching large, burly men in hopes they'll sprout wings and start carelessly tripping over rollerskates and Tonka trucks while handing out smiles and life lessons. Amber alerts will rise and after viewing Legion, God thinks "Hey, I should have thought of that." Angered by our inability to care for our teeth-less children, God declares war on Earth, but fails. OYIT writes more articles and becomes even more awesome.
I don't feel that optimistic about the impact of Tooth Fairy on Julie Andrews' career. I hope better projects are in her precious future -- projects that are worthy of her legacy whether they are family films or brilliant farces like Victor/Victoria. I'm going to pretend I've never heard of The Rock's Tooth Fairy, and I'm staying focused on the gorgeous Julie (look at these photos blogged at Film Noir Photos) of Thouroughly Modern Millie days, the charming Julie Andrews who sang with the Muppets, the legendary Julie Andrews who is one of my favorite things.
Deb Rox blogs at Deb on the Rocks She actually has a deep dislike of the nanny goat song, but she's letting that grudge slide for the greater good. Her favorite things include real salt and real butter on real popcorn and her marketing agency,3 Smart Girlz.
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