Saturday, June 18, 2011

Mr. Poppers Penguins: Perfectly Predictable

Last week my family was invited to an advance screening of Mr. Poppers Penguins, starring Jim Carrey as Tom Popper.

Popper is an executive real estate developer who is gifted 6 penguins from his father as his last dying wish. The penguins send Poppers work life into a tailspin but breathe a new air into his relationship with his children and ex-wife. As his children become attached to the new pets, Popper becomes caught between doing what's best for the penguins and doing what's best for keeping him out of the doghouse with his kids.

The message of the movie, as I took it, is the rediscovery of the meaning of family. 3 of the penguins lay eggs while in Popper's care and he is suddenly thrust into the role of surrogate father, making sure the eggs survive until hatching. This awakening of his parenting instincts reminds him of his own father (or lack thereof), who was often absent when he was a child.

This movie seemed to ring familiar with another of Jim Carrey's films, Liar Liar. And while the entire film rolled along much as I expected it to, I was still entertained by the physical comedy of both penguins and humans, as well as the humor Jim Carrey does so well.

Some of the dialogue of this movie seemed to be aimed more at parents than at children (I think a lot of the humor would have gone over their heads). And yet, I don't really see the premise of this movie as appealing to adults. What I picture this movie being, is, a movie that parents take their children to, hoping for something that's appealing for both age groups. On some levels it succeeds (even though kids may not understand all the jokes, they get enough of the dialogue for it to be funny, and all the poop and fart humor doesn't hurt) and on some levels it disappoints (minor inappropriate language, but some people may not care about that with their kids).

This movie is definitely fun and I did find myself laughing a lot about it. But at the same time I think it didn't really hit a home run because it's a movie that's trying to split its time between two audiences: kids AND adults. I'm not sure I'd pay top dollar at the movie theater for this one, but if you're looking for a movie that's fun, and has a happy ending to boot, you won't be disappointed with Mr. Popper's Penguins.

Photo Credits: 20th Century Fox.

Texan Mama


Ellen Stewart (aka Ellie/El/e/Mrs. Seaman) said...

Mr. Popper's Penguins was one of Mac's favorite novels as a kid, but I've never read it (he read a lot, and I couldn't keep up with all the books he liked.) So I'm wondering how it compares to the novel.

That Janie Girl said...

I wanna go see it! I love penguins.

Does that count?

Anna See said...

thanks for the review. both kids read it in 2nd grade and loved it. not sure if we'll go to the flick.

Beth Zimmerman said...

I'd like to see it but I can wait til it's available on disc.

Jennifer said...

Some movies do a really good job of being funny to both adults and kids, Shrek, but then some just don't. I have no desire to see this movie, but then I don't really like Jim Carrey that much either.