Rating Explanation: for mild rude humor and some language
Jimmy's Buzz Guide Review: An endearing, painless, but formulaic family comedy trading on Jim Carrey's remarkable physical skills and some moments of clever wordplay
Jim Carrey ...
Carla Gugino ...
Angela Lansbury ...
Mrs. Van Gundy
Ophelia Lovibond ...
Madeline Carroll ...
Clark Gregg ...
Jeffrey Tambor ...
David Krumholtz ...
Philip Baker Hall ...
Maxwell Perry Cotton ...
James Tupper ...
Mr. Popper's Penguins
Mr. Popper (Jim Carrey) is a high-powered Manhattan real estate agent with a broken family life and
a sterile apartment. When his father dies he wills his son six penguins, who arrive in a
sealed crate from the Arctic and have no trouble taking up residence in
Mr. Popper's Park Avenue high-rise.
The six penguins manage to poop in
inconvenient places but somehow they seem to help Mr. Popper
reconnect with his kids (Madeline Carroll and Maxwell Perry Cotton) as well as his
ex-wife (Carla Gugino), though there's little evidence he was all that
awful to them in the first place. Popper's conflicts with a nosy neighbor (David
Krumholtz) and trickster doorman (Desmin Borges) make for a nice back-story, but, it is Popper's assistant Pippa (Ophelia
Lovibond) who turns out to be the film's most memorable character. She's both very weird and very funny and when the nattering Nat Jones (Clark Gregg), an officious zoo guyarrives on the scene, it's a set up for a delightful grand finale.
Director Mark Waters ("Freaky Friday") adds a visual flair that so many movies in this genre seem to be missing, making you care
about the movie a little more because you can tell he did. When a
penguin floods the bathroom, we watch him swimming through a frosted
glass door before it breaks; when Mr. Popper heads to an event at the
spiral-shaped Guggenheim Museum, you'd better believe the penguins will
be sliding down those ramps. It's as if he, the writers and even Jim Carrey
knew they were working with sub-par material, and worked extra hard so
that the audience might appreciate the effort. I've seen kids laugh
hysterically at absolute garbage movies, but I like to think they were
laughing just a bit harder at Mr. Popper's Penguins because it actually tried to be entertaining....and it is.