Adam Sandler's latest vehicle is a pretty lacklustre experience that barely manages to raise a smile, never mind a few laughs. The fantasy adventure, aimed squarely at kids, sees him take on a familiar childlike role as Skeeter Bronson, a hotel handyman.

Likeable but bungling, Skeeter longs to run the swanky hotel in which he works as a dogsbody to the obsessive- compulsive owner, Barry Nottingham (Griffiths). The hotel was once a family business which was run by Skeeter's late father, and he was supposed to follow in his footsteps as the manager.

However, things are never that easy, and as Skeeter is stuck mending television sets and changing light bulbs, conniving Kendell (Pearce) has wheedled his way into the hotel manager job, and even has the girl of Skeeter's dreams, the party heiress Violet (Palmer).

When his no-nonsense, sensible sister (Cox) has to go on a trip to find a new job, Skeeter is left to mind her two children. He is reluctant at first, but he soon wins over the reticent youngsters with his imaginative bedtime stories, which are fairytale versions of his life. But eerie parallels between real life and his stories start appearing, including an impromptu hail of gumballs from the sky.

When Skeeter realises the potential this has, he sets to inventing stories that will make him into the success he has always strived for.

The plot seems to have been moulded to include as many predictable twists and turns as possible, and the romance between Skeeter and his sister's friend Jill (Russell) is unconvincing.

Russell Brand's part as Mickey, Skeeter's best friend and fellow hotel employee doesn't do Brand any justice, and Rob Schneider puts in his compulsory cameo as a Native American - as inappropriate as it is wholly unfunny.

Although it is not lacking in imagination visually, with the bedtime stories being brought to life with great sets and costume design, the film falls apart in the weak script and Sandler's annoying turn as the bumbling hero.

'Bedtime Stories' falls into the trap of being overly schmaltzy and predictable and is just not funny enough to work.

Sarah McIntyre