Opens: Now playing
The pitch: Recently downsized dad (Eddie Murphy) rages against the corporate machine by reinventing himself as a champion of gender equality. OK, not really. Instead, he and his former co-workers (Jeff Garlin and Steve Zahn) open a day-care center.
Selling points: None.
Throwaway casting: Anjelica Huston's talents are wasted as a frigid schoolmarm running a rival day-care. Sure, we've seen Huston play evil before (anyone remember The Witches?), but this is just depressing.
Sophomore comedy: The predictable poo jokes fly fast and frequently, though with less graphic impact than you might expect.
Soundtrack: Can someone please put a moratorium of any future usage of Katrina and the Waves' "Walking on Sunshine," apparently the song required to make a feel-good flick?
Product placement: Murphy frequently pulls out his iBook, squeezing that damn Apple logo into every third scene.
Fashion statements: One day-care kid refuses to remove his Flash costume, a running joke (pun intended) that actually works.
Cliches: Eddie Murphy's career.
For the geeks: Nerdy Marvin (Zahn) pops Star Wars and Star Trek references into most of his scenes and is able to communicate with one of the kids who only speaks Klingon.
Best line: "I'm your daddy. I mean, I'm not your daddy. I'm your baby's daddy." (Zahn, stammering over an attractive mom who's picking up her child.)
Worst line: "I ain't gonna front. Them little crumb snatchers have got under my skin."
Political subtext: The none-too-subtle commentary of "men can be caretakers too" is about as fresh as disposable diapers, insulting basically anyone who hasn't been in a coma for 25 years.
The bottom line: An obvious crib of Mr. Mom, by way of Kindergarten Cop, this listless stinker fails even by pre-school standards. With a plot dense enough to bore the kids and way too many pratfalls to keep the adults plugged in, the movie becomes one big naptime for both.