There’s something loathsome about about the fabricated “family” films major studios putting out. You know the kind– dumbed down to oblivion, they feel like vapid, assembly lined back door attempts to make kids stupid. At once I feel guilty for saying that (they’re for kids, not me) and also right on target. Movies like Alvin and the Chipmunks, Aliens in the Attic, Bedtime Stories, Daddy Day Care, The Pacifier, etc. always deliver a lesson to be learned, but audiences of any age have to go through a ridiculous gauntlet of foolishness and idiocy in the getting there.
The prefab family films I’m knocking inevitably have a “star” anchor– many times one who’s looking for a little career resuscitation and/or a paycheck: Vin Diesel. Dwayne Johnson. Eddie Murphy…. Tim Allen. Which is why I love this spoof called Arbor Daze in which Tim Allen himself not only knocks the cookie-cutter “family” genre, but pokes his own eye for being involved in them. The clip hits every ridiculous beat these films and their trailers are known for and, in the self-justifying world of my mind, justifies my grumpiness about all this.