Bedtime Stories (film)

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Bedtime Stories
Bedtime stories.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byAdam Shankman
Screenplay by
Story byMatt Lopez
Produced by
CinematographyMichael Barrett
Edited by
Music byRupert Gregson-Williams
Distributed byWalt Disney Studios
Motion Pictures
Release date
  • December 25, 2008 (2008-12-25)
Running time
99 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Budget$80 million[2]
Box office$212.9 million[3]

Bedtime Stories is a 2008 American fantasy comedy film directed by Adam Shankman from a screenplay by Matt Lopez and Tim Herlihy based on a story by Lopez. It stars Adam Sandler in his first appearance in a family-oriented film alongside Keri Russell, Guy Pearce, Aisha Tyler, Russell Brand, Richard Griffiths, Teresa Palmer, Lucy Lawless and Courteney Cox. In the film, when a hotel handyman's stories to his niece and nephew come true, he keeps telling stories that become more outlandish. Sandler's production company Happy Madison and Andrew Gunn's company Gunn Films co-produced the film with Walt Disney Pictures.

The film was theatrically released on December 25, 2008, by Disney. Despite receiving generally negative reviews from critics, it was a box office success, earning $212.9 million against an $80 million budget.


In 1974, Skeeter and Wendy Bronson are raised by their father Marty at the family business: the Sunny Vista Motel. However, despite being a good hotelier and host, Marty faces serious financial problems with the business and almost goes bankrupt. The motel is sold into a forced liquidation to Barry Nottingham, CEO and founder of hotel chain Nottingham Hotels, and rebuilt into a luxury hotel named the Sunny Vista Nottingham. In the present day, Skeeter is stuck as the hotel's hardworking repairman, despite Nottingham previously promising the late Marty to let Skeeter run the hotel if he showed promise. Nottingham announces plans to close the old hotel in order to build a new one, named the Sunny Vista Mega Nottingham, and appoints the snotty Kendall Duncan as its future manager, simply because he is dating Nottingham's daughter Violet.

Wendy asks Skeeter to watch her children, Patrick and Bobbi, because the school at which she is the principal is closing down and she is looking for a job in Arizona. The first night, Skeeter cynically tells them a bedtime story in which he casts himself as an underdog peasant in a medieval fantasy world, who is unfairly passed over for promotion. Dissatisfied with the story’s unhappy ending, the children add that he at least gets a chance at the promotion, and that it starts raining gumballs.

The next day, the story miraculously comes true: Nottingham, recalling the original promise he made to Marty, gives Skeeter a shot at the manager position; and on his way home, gumballs rain on Skeeter from a truck crash on an overpass. The next night, at the hotel, Skeeter tells a wild west-style story in which he, as a cowboy, is freely given an expensive horse named Ferrari. Going out later that night, he saves Violet from obnoxious paparazzi; he then sees Violet’s Ferrari car and mistakenly thinks it is for him before Violet drives away. Skeeter realizes that only the children's additions to the stories come true. The night after that, Skeeter, with the children's help, tells a story about a chariot-riding stuntman in Ancient Greece who wins a date with the “fairest maiden in the land”. The next day, Skeeter ends up spending the day with and falling for his sister's friend and colleague Jill.

On Skeeter’s last night with the children, he tells them a space opera-style story in which he triumphs over Kendall in a duel. The children, recalling how Skeeter told them on their first night that there are no happy endings in real life, add that someone kills him with a fireball. Skeeter learns from Kendall that the new Nottingham Hotel will be at the location of the closing school. Skeeter and Kendall both make presentations on how best to market the hotel; with his heartfelt speech, Skeeter ultimately wins the managerial position. However, Skeeter, paranoid against fire due to the story, blasts a fire extinguisher at Nottingham's cake and is “fired”.

Skeeter, much to the surprise of Jill and Nottingham manages to get the hotel’s location moved to the beachfront in Santa Monica; after which Skeeter and Jill race to the school before it can be demolished. While at the site, protesting the school’s closure, Bobbi and Patrick sneak in the building to give their sign a better view. Skeeter and Jill arrive just in time to stop Kendall from setting off the highly sensitive explosives, saving the kids and the school. Sometime later, Skeeter marries Jill and opens a motel named after his father; with Kendall and his accomplice Aspen demoted to the motel's waiting staff. Violet marries Skeeter's best friend Mickey, giving him control of the Nottingham Empire. Nottingham quits the hotel industry to become a school nurse; and newlywed Skeeter and Jill have a baby boy.



Director Adam Shankman describes Adam Sandler's character as "a sort of 'Cinderfella' character" and adds that "'He's like Han Solo ...'"[4] It was filmed on various locations in California, including in Thousand Oaks where Mr. Nottingham's palace is set.[5][6]


Bedtime Stories
Film score by
ReleasedDecember 23, 2008
GenreSoundtrack, film score
LabelWalt Disney

The score to Bedtime Stories was composed by Rupert Gregson-Williams, who recorded his score with the Hollywood Studio Symphony at the Newman Scoring Stage at 20th Century Fox.[7] The song "Don't Stop Believin'" is played during the film and during the end credits.

1."The Sunny Vista Motel"4:15
2."The Tale of Sir Fixalot"3:04
3."Raining Gumballs"1:16
4."The Fat Mouse"1:54
5."The Wild West Adventure"2:15
6."Rooftop Camp Out"2:34
7."The Legend of Skeetacus"1:57
8."Almost a Kiss"1:53
9."Space Odyssey"3:08
10."Skeeter's Pitch"3:17
11."At the Nottingham Broadway Mega Resort" (Performed by Guy Pearce)1:18
12."You're Supposed To Be the Good Guy"3:49
13."Motorcycle Rescue"3:26
14."Happily Ever After"1:07

Theatrical release[edit]

The film was released in the United States on December 25, 2008, in Poland on January 23, 2009 and in Sweden on February 20, 2009.


Critical response[edit]

Adam Sandler at Cannes in 2002

On Rotten Tomatoes Bedtime Stories has an approval rating of 27% based on 111 reviews, with an average rating of 4.4/10. The site's consensus states, "Though it may earn some chuckles from pre-teens, this kid-friendly Adam Sandler comedy is uneven, poorly paced, and lacks the requisite whimsy to truly work."[8] On Metacritic the film has a weighted average score of 33 out of 100 based on 26 reviews, "generally unfavorable reviews".[9] Audiences surveyed by CinemaScore gave the film a grade B+ on scale of A to F.[10]

Box office[edit]

Slashfilm predicted that Bedtime Stories would open #1 during the December 25–28, 2008 Christmas weekend due to its family appeal and the box office draw of Adam Sandler,[11] but it came at #3 grossing $38 million behind Marley & Me and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. However, during the standard 3-day weekend, it jumped ahead of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button ranking #2 behind Marley & Me with $27.5 million.[12] As of February 2009, the film had grossed $110,101,975 in the United States and Canada and $102,772,467 in other countries, totaling $212,874,442 worldwide.

Home media[edit]

The film was released on Blu-ray Disc and DVD on April 7, 2009. The DVD was released as a single disc or a two-disc edition including behind-the-scenes featurette. Commercials advertising the discs feature background music recycled from the film Back to the Future Part III. As of November 1, 2009 the DVD has sold 2,835,662 copies generating $49,409,944 in sales revenue.[13]


Australian Film Institute 2009
Award Category Nominee Result
AFI International Award Best Actor Guy Pearce Nominated
BMI Film & TV Awards 2009
Award Nominee Result
BMI Film Music Award Rupert Gregson-Williams Won
Kids' Choice Awards, USA 2009
Award Category Nominee Result
Blimp Award Favorite Movie
Favorite Movie Actor
Adam Sandler Nominated
Motion Picture Sound Editors, USA 2009
Award Category Nominee Result
Golden Reel Award Best Sound Editing - Music in a Feature Film J.J. George (supervising music editor)
Kevin Crehan (music editor)
Tom Kramer (music editor)
Young Artist Awards 2009
Award Category Nominee Result
Young Artist Award Best Performance in a Feature Film - Supporting Young Actor Johntae Lipscomb Nominated


  1. ^ "Bedtime Stories". American Film Institute. Retrieved February 7, 2022.
  2. ^ "Bedtime Stories (2008) - Financial Information". The Numbers.
  3. ^ "Bedtime Stories (2008)". Retrieved 2008-01-25.
  4. ^ As quoted in "First Look: Behind the scenes of Hollywood's biggest projects," Entertainment Weekly 1025 (December 12, 2008): 9.
  5. ^ "Bedtime Stories (2008) - IMDb". IMDb.
  6. ^ "Best Movies Filmed in Thousand Oaks!". 13 February 2017.
  7. ^ Rupert Gregson-Williams scores Bedtime Stories. Retrieved 2008-12-17.
  8. ^ "Bedtime Stories (2008)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved November 23, 2019.
  9. ^ "Bedtime Stories". Metacritic. Retrieved November 23, 2019.
  10. ^ "Cinemascore". Archived from the original on 2018-12-20.
  11. ^ Box Office Tracking: Bedtime Stories Could Be The Biggest Christmas Day Opening of All-Time Archived 2009-01-22 at the Wayback Machine. /Film. Retrieved 2008-12-24.
  12. ^ Weekend Box Office Results for December 26–28, 2008. Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2009-01-02.
  13. ^ Bedtime Stories - Box Office Data, Movie News, Cast Information. The Numbers. Retrieved 2010-10-26.

External links[edit]