‘Tooth Fairy’ harmless fun

Derek Thompson (Dwayne Johnson) is a veteran ice hockey player who has acquired the nickname of Tooth Fairy because of his aggressive play, which frequently deprives rival players of their dental work.

Cert PG, 97 mins, Family/Comedy/Romance

Derek Thompson (Dwayne Johnson) is a veteran ice hockey player who has acquired the nickname of Tooth Fairy because of his aggressive play, which frequently deprives rival players of their dental work.

While he excels on the ice, Derek struggles to connect with 14-year-old Randy (Chase Ellison) and five-year-old Tess (Destiny Whitlock), the children of his girlfriend Carly (Ashley Judd).

It doesn’t help that Derek insists on trying to dissuade the youngsters from believing in the real tooth fairy. As punishment, Derek is sentenced to serve one week as a real tooth fairy under Chief Lily (Julie Andrews), who assigns administrative fairy Tracy (Stephen Merchant) to look after Derek and ensure he completes the seven days.

Tooth Fairy is smothered in enough emotional syrup to rot the pearly whites that Derek is asked to harvest but Merchant’s acidic asides help to cut through some of the mawkishness. His unlikely double-act with Johnson, who is great at physical comedy but struggles with anything approaching emotion, produces a gurgling of laughs.

Andrews merrily recycles her performance from The Princess Diaries while the younger performers look adorable as the plot shamelessly steals from Love Actually to provide Randy’s storyline with its crescendo.

Young audiences will giggle at the pratfalls and parents can rest their tired eyes every time Merchant is off screen.

Michael Lembeck’s saccharine fish-out-of-water comedy hammers home the idea that children should be allowed to wallow in fantasy.

Harmless fun.

Rating: 3/5

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