Who's In It: Russell Brand, James Marsden, Kaley Cuoco, Hank Azaria, Hugh Laurie, David Hasselhoff, Gary Cole
The Basics: E.B. (Brand) is next in line for the Easter Bunny throne, but he would rather be drumming in a rock band than bestowing the world's children with the gift of sugary treats and hidden eggs. As his coronation nears, he runs away to the Home of Starry-Eyed Runaways, aka Hollywood. He gets run over by Fred O'Hare (Marsden), an aimless middle class man-child who still lives with his parents because he has yet to find his life's purpose. After guilt tripping him into giving him a place to stay, they slowly learn that if you want it badly enough, sometimes your dreams can come true. And they might also come to you in the form of The Hoff in a pleather suit. Same difference.
What's the Deal: I know what you said when you saw this trailer: FINALLY, a movie that gives the Easter Bunny his due. No longer do we have to suffer through countless Santa Claus movies--filmmakers are finally realizing that childhoods aren't just comprised of one Christian holiday. Truth is, they're comprised of two, and now the lepus gets his chance to shine. And shine he does...but in a sleigh with a huge workshop that makes him look just like Jolly Old St. Nick. But all that aside, the movie made me laugh a lot. I was surprised that most of the humor had bite to it (it felt like Brand was able to improv a lot), and it wasn't overly sappy and manipulative at every turn. Although ultimately predictable, the journey is charming and the kids in my theater were audibly delighted.
Resistance Is Futile: I am tickled at the idea of a movie based on a religious holiday that most countries don't have and can't wait to see how it does internationally on DVD. Between bites of popcorn and Cadbury Eggs, a message emerged. The Easter Bunny (Laurie) runs quite the not-for-profit-and-for-tradition operation by employing a vast number of hares and chicks to make candy for the masses. Carlos, his (seemingly foreign) right-hand chick (Azaria), is dismayed at his nepotism, especially when his ungrateful son E.B. doesn't even want the job. Eventually Carlos tries to stage a coup (cluck?), which is quickly squelched by The Man. And since the movie is also sprinkled with some shots at China, I came away firmly believing that anyone who doesn't believe in the magic of Easter will be most certainly crushed under its weight.
Quick Notes: James Marsden does the Best Acting with a Bunny since Bob Hoskins in Who Framed Roger Rabbit. And this film is the front runner for the title of Best Los Angeles Travelogue, since there are more shots of Los Angeles in it than a recent alien invasion movie with the city name in its title. Take that, aliens.