© Paramount Pictures Germany GmbH

Zuhause ist der Zauber los (Imagine That)
U.S.A./Germany 2009

Opening 29 Oct 2009

Directed by: Karey Kirkpatrick
Writing credits: Ed Soloman, Chris Matheson
Principal actors: Eddie Murphy, Thomas Haden Church, Yara Shahidi, Ronny Cox, Stephen Rannazzisi

Evan Danielson (Eddie Murphy) is a financial investor/advisor. His biggest competition up the company ladder is Johnny White Feather. Evan is torn between trying to out-maneuver White Feather and spending quality time with his seven-year-daughter Olivia. Olivia drags her security blanket everywhere, including to school. She convinces her daddy that under the blanket are princesses and a queen with names like Kupada and Mapada. Daddy plays along, even allowing Olivia to ask this royalty for advice re: investments. Who would have thought: their advice is right on, and Evan comes out looking very smart. In the end the moral of the story is that one does not need artificial helpers, but instead, belief in one’s own abilities.

The owner of my local videothek said that he hasn’t carried any Eddie Murphy films for a while because “they are all so dumb.” This one won’t strain any brain cells, but Murphy does his best, and it’s a perfect satire to describe the financial advisors who are responsible for the present financial crisis. Give them back their blankeees. Little Yara Shanhidi as Olivia is excellent, especially considering that she is on screen most of the time. I even liked Thomas Haden Church as Johnny White Feather, although Native American Indians already have their noses out of joint. No, he’s not politically correct, but, in the end, everyone knows that Johnny isn’t a “real” Indian; he just uses that guise as a smoke screen to fool everyone into thinking that he speaks more than gibberish, e.g., “One sky – see-er – one eye – sights and vision.” After entertaining my seven-year-old granddaughter for four weeks, I, too, can tell you some things about fantasy creatures which influence your daily life. This isn’t a children’s film; perhaps the most attentive audience will be doting grandparents who enjoy scenes filmed around Denver, Colorado. Directed by Karey Kirkpatrick who did Over the Hedge. (Becky Tan)

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