From the desk of The Movie Snob:
Lady in the Water (C). The latest offering from M. Night Shyamalan—supposedly based on a bedtime story he made up for his children–just did not work for me. The director reteams with Bryce Dallas Howard (The Village) as the title character in this modern-day fairy tale. The talented Paul Giamatti (Sideways, Cinderella Man) plays Cleveland Heep, a stuttering sad sack of a guy who is the superintendent of a rundown Philadelphia apartment building. He is suddenly given a purpose in life when Howard’s character, named Story, suddenly appears in the apartment swimming pool and claims to be a sea-nymph-type creature called a narf. She has come to our world to find and unblock a would-be writer whose writings could change the world for the better. Heep comes to believe her and does everything he can to aid her in finding this person and then returning home, which also involves protecting her from another supernatural being, a wicked wolf-like thing called a scrunt. Other eccentric tenants in the apartments also come to play important roles in the quest to help Story. On the plus side, I admit that I was constantly wondering what was going to happen next. On the minus side, I was annoyed at the . . . well, I can’t really say why I was annoyed without crossing over into spoilers. Let’s just say that the movie doesn’t have any major twists like most of Shyamalan’s movies do, but it has plenty of minor twists that kind of bugged me after a short while. And the movie was a little too long, as movies tend to be these days. Still, I’ll keep seeing M. Night’s films because he does at least try to do things that are interesting and different. Gotta give him credit for that.