Daddy Day Care
Following films like Beverly Hills Cop, The Nutty Professor series and I Spy, Eddie Murphy is taking a noticeably tamer detour in his acting career. Steering clear of the usual fare of profanities and blatant sexual jokes, Murphy tackles a storyline many working parents will relate to -- finding good childcare.
Playing the part of Charlie Hinton, he experiences the negative side of company downsizing when his organization cans their healthy food division in order to focus on their junk food branch. Unable to find work, he and his wife Kim (Regina King) can no longer afford the pricey monthly tuition for Chapman Academy, a prestigious preschool their son Ben (Khamani Griffin) attends. But after scouring the community, they realize the choices for acceptable daycare are bleak at best. Without alternatives, this former employee is left at home to care for Ben after his wife starts a new job.
That's when the advertising genius comes up with a new marketing idea and proposes it to his pal Phil (Jeff Garlin), a coworker who also got the axe. Since both men are home with their children already, why not open a daycare of their own and cash in on the consumer need.
At the start, their plan is met with a certain amount of suspicion. But signing up kids from the neighborhood seems easy when compared to the work it takes to keep a dozen preschoolers fed, focused and entertained for an entire day.
Reaping some success, their daddy approach to daycare starts to take off and the guys hire additional help. More like an overgrown kid than adult, Star Trek fanatic Marvin (Steve Zahn) is a positive add-on to the staff. But things take a turn for the worse when Chapman's headmistress gets wind of their newly established enterprise. Determined to keep them from undermining her uppity institution, Miss Gwyneth Harridan (Anjelica Huston) sends child services to check on the home-based operation and the men who run it.
Although this film receives a mild rating for content issues, the plot is definitely an adult dilemma. There are enough antics from the preschool actors in this cast to keep most kids entertained, however. Initially their tricks includes kicks to the groin, bathroom humor, drinking bubble blowing mixture, destroying furniture and other actions most parents wouldn't want repeated at home. But as the caregivers in this movie mature so do the children.
Without realizing it, Charlie and Phil begin to see the positive aspects of fatherhood that they'd been missing all along. Weighing the choice of an upwardly mobile career with the responsibility of raising the next generation, these men and their raucous methods of child rearing give Daddy Day Care an entertaining premise most families can swallow.