Christmas Day Movie Reviews: Bedtime Stories, Marley & Me, Benjamin Button

For those who will be hitting the theaters after a morning of gift unwrapping, there's something for just about everyone.

And for some, that may set up a tough single-movie pick … or perhaps a daily movie run from Thursday to Sunday.

Whichever the case, here's a quick glance at the three movies that I feel are most worth watching, starting from the third pick to the first:

Bedtime Stories

If you're a child or a child at heart, "Bedtime Stories," starring Adam Sandler will tickle your fancy. With its creative storyline and double dose of funnymen (Adam Sandler and British comic Russell Brand make quite a team), the Disney family adventure flick will raise spirits and provide some very timely warmth and laughter for the holidays. At the heart of the movie is the quest of hotel handyman Skeeter Bronson (played by Sandler) to become manager of the motel that his father once owned. As he waits for the long-dreamed-of moment, Skeeter finds himself needing to babysit his nephew and niece while his sister is out of town for a job interview. Though Skeeter isn't quite uncle-of-the-year material, the children come to grow fond of him as he starts telling them bedtime stories – which he soon discovers to come true in real life the day after. With the new magical gift, Skeeter attempts to turn his dream into a reality and finally give his life the happy ending its been waiting for. Conclusion-in-short: A good movie for families and people of all ages.

Marley & Me

For those who are married, in the process of tying the knot, or getting close to it, "Marley & Me" is a winner. Though the posters and trailers suggest a movie along the lines of the doggy-powered "Beethoven" series, the focus of the flick is mostly on the life and relationship of John and Jennifer Grogen (played by Owen Wilson and Jennifer Anniston, respectively). Unlike most romantic comedies, however, "Marley & Me" starts off from where others usually end off – life after marriage. And unlike others, the movie is not some way-out-there romantic fantasy that most could only dream of happening to them. It's very relatable and draws on events that many couples experience over the course of their lives. And it's this quality that allows the feel-good movie to pull on the heartstrings of its audience. "Marley & Me" will certainly surprise people who are not familiar with the book from which the movie is based. And it will even be enjoyed by those who have yet to experience many of the events captured by the movie. Conclusion-in-short: Though it comes in at No. 2 on this list, it's in good position to be No. 1 at the box office opening weekend – and with more than good reason.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

And then there's "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button." Based on the short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald, "Benjamin Button" delves into the life of a man who was "born under unusual circumstances." Unlike most people who grow older as they age, Benjamin Button (played by Brad Pitt) starts off as an infant who looks to be in his eighties and with many of the conditions that an elderly person would have come to develop over their lifetime. And though he is expected to die, Benjamin surprises those around him by not only surviving, but actually growing younger as he ages. With this as its base, "Benjamin Button" takes its audience on a wildly imaginative fantasy trip that, in the end, will likely convince many that growing older is not so bad, and growing younger would be a lot more complicated than one might imagine. And though the film is a long one (nearly 3 hours), so engaging is the storyline that most won't realize how much time has passed until they've checked their watches. And the effects are so well done, some may wonder how filmmakers managed to shrink Brad Pitt for the movie (it's actually not his body, but his face on a little person's). Conclusion-in-short: An engaging fantasy film for adults young and old (or vice-versa) with a unique love story intertwined.


With all that said, know that whichever you decide to go with, all of the above will certainly touch your heart in some way while entertaining you. And hopefully you'll walk out with the great messages embedded in each. They'll certainly fit well with holiday season.

So, as we head into the Christmas weekend, faithful moviegoers, bon appétit and have a Merry Christmas!