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tooth This goofy children's adventure goes for that magical holiday movie vibe and misfires on most fronts. It's never a complete disaster, but it suffers from a less-than-polished writing and direction. In the underground world of Fairytopia, the tooth fairies have lost the ability to use magic, instead relying on cold hard cash. Well, for some reason this is threatening the coming Christmas holidays. Then a rebellious young fairy named Tooth (Paige) plays a prank involving a struggling family (brother Copus, little sister Preston, mom Phillips and dad Dutton). While the parents accidentally end up in Fairytopia, the kids and Tooth set off to find Mrs Claus (Law) to restore holiday magic, pursued by a vicious fairy hunter (Enfield). And they're running out of time.

There's a kind of deranged mythology in the plot and characters that defies logic. No matter how hard you try to understand why anything is happening, it never becomes clear. For example, why is the boss fairy a giant bunny (voiced by Broadbent), besides for one obvious line at the end? The story is a series of coincidences and ludicrous lapses of coherence that leave the audience utterly perplexed. Meanwhile, the performances are all over the place--mostly broad and silly, with moments of twisted humour that actually make us laugh. No one in the cast is particularly good or bad; Enfield and Fry are perhaps the most consistent, because they never try to be cute. Grant and Hall are the funniest, because they're so bizarre as a couple of ex-elves turned whizzy golf players. Meanwhile, the film's production is oddly slipshod; it looks cheap and slapped together, filmed in England but set somewhere in America (there are references to both L.A. and New York, but it just looks like England). And finally, why the big countdown to Christmas? Isn't this a tooth fairy movie ... that's being released in February? It's often sweet and sometimes funny, but mostly it's a real muddle. Hey, did I make it through that review without a pun?

cert U some suspense 16.Nov.03

dir-scr Ed Nammour
with Yasmin Paige, Rory Copus, Maisie Preston, Harry Enfield, Sally Phillips, Tim Dutton, Phyllida Law, Vinnie Jones, Stephen Fry, Richard E Grant, Jerry Hall, Jim Broadbent
release UK 13.Feb.04
04/UK 1h31

The baddie, the mother and The Extractor: Enfield, Phillips and Jones.

fry grant broadbent
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R E A D E R   R E V I E W S
send your review to Shadows... David Haviland, London: 1/5 "Imagine the worst childrenís TV programme youíve seen, remove any plot sense, replace the professional crew with children, halve the effects budget, throw in some talented actors looking extremely embarrassed. You are now imagining Tooth, a childrenís film set at Christmas, yet released for the box office stampede that is Valentineís weekend. Itís set unspecifically in America, yet quite obviously shot in England. A few of the cast start the film with American accents, but quickly realise that no one else is bothering and give up the ghost. Vinnie Jones and Stephen Fry share top billing despite the fact that their parts are mere cameos. Harry Enfield, the unfortunate star, seems to give up acting altogether halfway through, and reverts to parody. You can hardly blame him given the dialogue; when the villains break into Fairytopia heís expected to shout 'Itís showtime!' Geeeuuugghh. When Tooth explains her origins, which constitute the premise for this embarrassment to the British film industry, someone responds, 'That is the dumbest story I ever heard.'" (28.Jan.04)

tooth F Shaffer, London: 4.5/5 "A fantasy movie aimed at kids, but evidently suitable for the whole family, even the grannies (Well they lose teeth too, you know). It is certainly original. (How many other films do you know that can have the tooth fairy, Santa Clausís wife and a big fluffy rabbit in the same cast?) The wacky and totally unique adventure which this film involves is simply marvellous. To even think how Mr Nammour came up with the idea is beyond imagination, it is different and certainly keeps the audience entertained, with many lovable moments. Overall Tooth is one big adventure and newcomer Nammour should be proud of his achievement. He is definitely one to watch out for in the future. It certainly does not need to be Christmas to enjoy this family film; it has enough treats to make it feel like Christmas everyday. A lovely film, which is unique and leaves you with the thought of WOW, do fairies really exist? (Well of course they do)." (17.Feb.04)

© 2003 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall