The following is a fictional transcript of the meeting between “Tooth Fairy” director Michael Lembeck (“The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause”“) and the five writers it took to create the screenplay.
Michael Lembeck: All right guys, the people up at Fox need us to film some kind of movie.
Lowell Ganz: Oh shit.
Lembeck: No, don’t worry. It’s a kid’s movie. We can figure this out tonight. We just want some kind of starting concept. What’s something all of us here like?
Babaloo Mandel: Children.
Lembeck: All right. Well. That’s a good start.
Joshua Sternin: Could we make something centered on Greek mythology?
Lembeck: That sounds too complex. We need to assume the audience is ridiculously stupid.
Sternin: How stupid?
Lembeck: I directed “The Santa Clause 2.”
Babaloo: Jesus Christ.
Sternin: What if we had… a big guy… but he was… wearing… small clothing?
(Uproarious laughter for 30 minutes)
Lembeck: Sternin, that’s exactly the kind of thinking that will have corporate eating ice cream out of our assholes.
Jeffrey Ventimilia: How about the big guy is a hockey player, right? But then he does something bad? So he gets sent to Fairyland? And he becomes a tooth fairy as a punishment?
Lembeck: YES. Now we need a “why”? What’s the drama here?
Sternin: He’s dating some girl. But he can’t bond with her son. So… in becoming a tooth fairy, he realizes what’s important in life. And then they marry?
Lembeck: Good, that sounds like basically every single child’s movie ever made. One more thing: what’s the moral lesson here?
Mandel: Believe in fairies because dreams are important.
Lembeck: That’s brilliant, how do you come up with this, Mandel?
Mandel: Primarily, meth. But sometimes I like to crush pharmaceuticals into a bowl and cry into it until I fall asleep.
Lembeck: I want everybody to write that down. Here’s what we have: an arrogant man abandons his dreams and becomes a washed out athlete. He sublimates his rage by telling children that dreams are unreasonable expectations. But then he goes to a magic fairyland and learns, the hard way, that dreams are important. Then he gets married.
Lembeck: Now we need to fill the middle with all sorts of bullshit so that people will laugh, or whatever it is that human beings like doing.
Randi Singer: How about he gets hit in the balls?
Ganz: Can we have a scene where he gives awkward advice to his girlfriend’s son?
Sternin: Oh, and one where he uses his magical fairy dust to make himself really small so he can hide in a toilet.
Ventimilia: We should have former wrester Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (“Race to Witch Mountain”) play the tooth fairy because he has a nice smile.
Sternin: Can we have Julie Andrews (“Enchanted”) play some kind of bland role as an authoritarian “fairy godmother” that essentially destroys her credibility as both an actress and a person?
Sternin: Because fuck Julie Andrews, that’s why.
Lembeck: Done. Full disclosure: I’m going to put almost no work into the direction — the jokes are going to be filmed as bluntly as possible, and I’m going to repeat them as much as I can. Also, the film’s emotion will be communicated through the soundtrack rather than the script or the acting.
Voice of Reason: You cannot release this film!
Lembeck: Security? Who the fuck is this?
Reason: Look, I know it’s going to be successful, but think about this: You’re lowering the general standard for children’s movies and the lower the standards get, the harder it’s going to be for you to exploit the formula and the more disillusioned children are going to become with cinema. So isn’t it in everybody’s best interest for you to add in at least a semblance of originality?
Lembeck: We’re going to have Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
Reason: Yes, but your movie fundamentally doesn’t make any sense. What kind of child doesn’t already know that it’s important to dream? Also, your movie promotes believing blindly in everything, regardless of reason or consequence. What kind of lesson is that? And —
(Gunfire, Reason screams intermittently, more gunfire, screaming ceases)
Security: I’m sorry. I don’t know how the Pixar staff members keep getting in here.
Sternin (on the verge of tears): Lembeck… was what he said… was it true?
Lembeck: You know what I was just thinking?
Lembeck: Children are fucking stupid.
1 star out of 5