Night at the Museum

Can TherapyDoc review a movie if she didn't see the end?

Blame American Airlines for catching those tailwinds, starting the movie too late, landing early! What was I supposed to do? There had to be at least another half hour to go before the movie ended when we landed at Ohare when the captain turned off the buckle your seat belt light.

Should I have rented it or do you think you can just trust me on this?

Directed by Shawn Levy, writing credits by Ben Garant & Thomas Lennon (thank you IMDB.COM) this one delighted me and yes, I'll buy the DVD when it's at Blockbusters for ten bucks or less.


Dick Van Dyke, Mickey Rooney, and Robin Williams, of course.

But, you say, you don't like Robin Williams under any circumstances. As Teddie Roosevelt I can like Robin Williams, and so should you.

Are there great Therapy Truths we can take out of a movie about yet another dead-beat guy whose wife has left him for a successful stockbroker-type person? (see that football movie about the Philadelphia Eagles for a real feel-good along the same heroic lines)

There are three lessons but first a quick plot summary. Ben Stiller plays Larry Daley, a single guy, probably 35, still finding himself. His schemes to make money haven't worked and his 11 year old kid Nick (Jake Cherry, so cute, btw) is beginning to identify with ex-wife's second husband, yes, a stockbroker.

Nick says to his dad, "What if you're wrong (about finding the "right" break) and you're just an ordinary guy who should get a job?"


But that's what he does. Larry finds a job as a guard in the Museum of Natural History. At night the displays come to life for the museum has acquired a golden Egyptian tablet with a "curse". Larry has to fight off Octavius, Attila the Hun, T-rex, and African jungle beasts. The diorama miniatures from the Wild Wild West come alive (Owen Wilson as Jedidaya, never better), along with hundreds of Roman soldiers, critters, beasts, and warriors battling like crazy, having a good old time at Larry's expense since he can not seem to restore order after sundown.

He's about to get fired by Dr. McPhee (a hysterical Monty Pythonesque "British" performance by Ricky Gervais), since there's always a tiny bit of evidence left in the morning, a Roman soldier's head under a Wild West guillotine, for example.

Larry begs one more chance at the job from Dr. McPhee. That night the elderly guards he's replaced are in the museum raking it clean of relics to enhance their retirements. Larry's son is there, watching him work out deals with Teddy Roosevelt who admits he's really only wax, which is why he can't seem to make a play for the beautiful Sacajawea, (Mizuo Peck).

So the lessons, briefly, are:

1. As Teddy Roosevelt must have said, Some men are born great, for others, greatness is thrust upon them.

Seize your moment.

2. History IS interesting when it's presented as biographical, when historic figures become people. (kids need to know this)

3. Your children will love you if you spend time with them, engage their imaginations, and teach them cool things, not all that hard to do since they want to do all of the above.

So rent this one and watch it with them.

At least I didn't give away the end, right?

Copyright 2007, TherapyDoc


Mark said…
Sounds like a fun movie. I will have to check it out when I have the opportunity.
I've never seen a movie like that, but I love Robin Williams - I DON'T CARE IF OTHER PEOPLE DON'T LIKE HIM. HE'S BRILLIANT I SAY!!

A-hem... anyway, I can never do a review on anything without the ending. The ending is what makes or breaks a movie.

Unless the movie really sucks all the way from the beginning, then it sucks all the way.