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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Meant to entertain rather than educate.
Resilience when faced with challenges such as losing a job. Finding one's true calling in life. Directly addresses and challenges traditional gender roles, in terms of proving men can also run a successful day care business.
Positive Role Models
The two protagonists turn the challenge of getting fired from a corporate office job into a positive by finding their true calling. Men are shown to be capable of running a day care center.
Violence & Scariness
Frequent comic pratfall violence, including scenes of kids kicking adult men in the crotch or in the knees. A man staples his hand to a flier. A group of kids attack two men dressed as vegetables in a focus group. A man falls off a slide and into his former boss, flattening him.
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A cereal called "Veggie O's" is renamed "Veggie Blows" by one of the characters. A child sampling "Veggie O's" in a focus group yells, "This cereal sucks!" While talking to his wife, Eddie Murphy's character spells out a series of words to fool their young son; this culminates in Murphy's character saying he doesn't give a "flying f--k," cut off by his wife before spelling out "f--k." A former boss of the protagonists continually taunts them by calling them "losers." Little kids use taunts such as "butthead" toward adults.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Daddy Day Care is a 2003 movie in which Eddie Murphy and Jeff Garlin star as two recently laid-off dads who find their true calling when they decide to start their own day care center. The humor is frequently puerile at best, including scenes were kids kick Garlin in the crotch or Murphy in the knees or call them names such as "butthead," to say nothing of the frequent flatulence sound effects and kids belching. There is occasional profanity, including a scene in which Murphy is clearly about to spell out "f--k" to fool his young son. Before their behavior improves while going to "Daddy Day Care," many of the kids engage in questionable behaviors such as drinking bubble soap and burping bubbles, yelling about how a brand of cereal "sucks," and the aforementioned kicking and name-calling of adults, all of which could be imitated by impressionable kids. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
DADDY DAY CARE is the sort of movie that Hollywood can churn out in its collective sleep and audiences can watch without really waking up. It's as bland and predicable as a package of Kraft macaroni and cheese but likely to please the same target audience. Its plot gives us 20 minutes for the setup, 30 minutes for everything to go wrong, and 30 minutes for Charlie and Phil to clean up their act and for the bad guys to almost win and then lose, with a few minutes for "what really matters in life is family" lessons along the way. They throw in some diaper humor for those in the audience most recently involved with potty training, some lite rock classics, and an appearance by an aging rock band (Cheap Trick) to make the parents in the audience feel hip, and then of course there are the bloopers and outtakes during the credits.
The result is a movie that is undistinguished and undistinguishable but not too awful. It sags here and there but picks up whenever Steve Zahn appears as an emergency recruit who may be a little spacey (in more senses than one) but who has knack for communicating with kids. But no one else seems to be trying very hard, including the people who spelled Anjelica Houston's name wrong in the credits (or maybe she just didn't want her real name on this movie).
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.