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Friday, February 23, 2007

Night at the Museum

**** Night at the Museum. Comedy.

Directed by: Shawn Levy.
Starring: Ben Stiller, Robin Williams, Owen Wilson, Carla Gugino.

We saw this at the Nightingale theater at Ramstein, finally, after two aborted attempts. And we discovered why we never go to the Nightingale. It's located right on the edge of the housing area and a lot of people walk there--or send their kids there by themselves. And as it's not a very big theater, it gets packed. It's completely full a half hour before the movie. Gah. We won't be going back there until we forget the horror of it.

Anyway, it's about Larry--a down-on-his-luck inventor (Ben Stiller) who needs a steady job so his ex-wife will allow his son to continue visiting him. So he takes a job as a night guard in a museum, only to discover that at night, everything in the museum comes to life.

Once that happens, it's a pretty.... hmm... how to put it. I swear, I need to take a film class so I can learn the vocabulary of how to describe things I notice. It feels denser, somehow, after that point. Before that, the story was thin, and I wasn't all that involved with the stereotypical divorced dad who's a kid himself and the stereotypical divorced mom who's an uptight control freak. And the stereotypical kid, too. Maybe once we got into the museum stories, it felt richer because we'd left the stereotypes behind.

Plus, then we got Robin Williams as Teddy Roosevelt and Owen Wilson as a teeny tiny cowboy, and they were both wonderfully fun.

Mostly, though, it's that the story didn't really start until Larry got to the museum. Not only is that where all the action happens, but it's also where Larry discovers his self-esteem and determination, and where he loses and regains his son's respect, and where he falls in love (with a history student played by a very convincing Carla Gugino).

The ending had a couple of really cheesy moments that didn't make a whole lot of sense, but that wasn't completely unexpected.

All in all, a fun family movie with enough action and silliness for the kids and enough story for the adults. I just wish they'd condensed the first part by two-thirds and used the time gained to expand the later story lines.


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This one surprised me and I liked it much more than I thought I would. It's rather cute and has a few chuckles. And I'm a sucker for Owen Wilson.
Oh, I am, too. Cute & funny--he's always a pleasure to watch. :)
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