Wholesome children’s penguin picture

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Mr. Popper’s Penguins

20th Century Fox

Rating: G

94 minutes

In a not very satisfying alternative to seeing yet another superhero movie (Green Lantern) last weekend, it was off to see Mr. Popper’s Penguins instead.

Jim Carrey plays Popper, a successful New York real estate wheel-dealer. But his luxury apartment and stretch limo comes with separation from his ex-wife (Carla Gugino) and two charming children.

He had a lonesome childhood because his father was some kind of adventurer, traveling the world and keeping in touch on short-wave radio. In some kind of final gesture his father sends him a live gentoo penguin, soon followed by five more.

Carrey wants to get rid of them at first. They’re noisy and messy, but he gives them all names (no free popcorn for guessing why one is called Stinky) and they seem unbelievably at home in his posh pad. Then he finds out his kids, and even his wife, like them. With a few cutesy plot twists they’re on their way to being a family again.

Well-aged Angela Lansbury shows up as the owner of a restaurant in Central Park that Carrey is trying to buy, but maybe the best thing about the movie is his assistant, played by Ophelia Lovibond, and her amazing ability to pronounce endless words starting with ‘p’.

This is a wholesome, positive family film and the penguins are cute, although not always realistic. But it’s also too predictable and even a little boring, however, younger children should enjoy it.

Rating: two deer out of five

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Alf Cryderman is a Red Deer freelance writer and old movie buff.

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