Film / Daddy Day Care
Daddy Day Care is a 2003 American comedy film, directed by Steve Carr and starring Eddie Murphy. The plot follows Charlie Hinton (Murphy), a busy working father and his wife, Kim (Regina King) has just gone back to work as a lawyer. They enroll their child, Ben, in the Chapman Academy, a very academic pre-school, headed by Mrs. Harridan (Anjelica Huston). Soon after, Charlie is laid off. In need of money, he opens up a day care center, "Daddy Day Care" with the help of his best friend Phil Ryerson (Jeff Garlin). At first the local moms are suspicious of men wanting to work with children (mainly because they think they're homosexual, pedophiles, or just plain incompetent).

But as "Daddy Day Care" is cheaper and more child-centered than the Academy, the latter begins to lose popularity. Mrs. Harridan attempts to shut down Daddy Day Care by notifying Child Services that Charlie and Phil are not following the regulations. The two now have to work tooth-and-nail to keep the place under regulation or their day care is shut down.

It has a sequel called Daddy Day Camp.

This film provides examples of:

  • Hate Sink: Miss Harridan is an arrogant, fun-hating snob who actively schemes to have Daddy Day Care taken down.
  • House Husband: Charlie and Phil slowly have to learn how to become one while running his day-care center.
  • Jump Cut: Inverted. A scene switches from bedlam to sleeping children.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Tony's problem when he joined Daddy Day Care; he believes he's the Flash and has worn his Halloween costume for weeks. When he ditches the costume, Charlie and Phil have no idea who he is at first.
  • Meaningful Name: Ms. Harridan.
  • Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: Jenny, Ms. Harridan's assistant, takes a lot of crap from her boss. Is it really that surprising when she jumps ship for Daddy Day Care in the end?
  • Musicalis Interruptus: Used to bookend a trip to the bathroom and a kick to the crotch.
  • Nerds Speak Klingon: One of the kids inexplicably speaks only in Klingon. The cast meets a geek named Marvin and hires him as a translator.
  • Product Placement: Becca holds a cell phone and repeatedly asks "Can you hear me now? Can you hear me now?"
  • Potty Failure: Played with. Max consistently makes it to the bathroom on time, but he can't aim.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Charlie gets his office job back, then quits.
    • Miss Harridan's assistant, Jenny ends up jumping ship to Daddy Day Care after Harridan loses her job.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: The child services Ms. Harridan keeps trying to sic on Charlie and Phil. He holds no ill will against the fathers, and constantly reminds him that he is only doing his job, giving them plenty of time to meet the day care regulations.
  • Rules Lawyer: The titular establishment is constantly threatened by a lack of adherence to child care regulations, no thanks to Ms. Harridan. However, they do make an effort to resolve these issues.
  • Shout-Out: There are several, mostly to Star Trek due to Marvin's love of the series.
  • Smug Snake: Ms. Harridan schemes to get rid of Daddy Day Care, but all her attempts fail.
  • Terrible Interviewees Montage: More like a terrible touring montage, but while trying to find a day-care center for Charlie's son, they go through this. Chapman Academy ends up looking like the best option, despite its overly-formal setting.
  • The Talk: One of the kids wants to hear about this; see Change The Uncomfortable Subject above.
  • Toilet Humor: Max's current issue when signed up for Daddy Day Care. He misses. Badly. VERY, VERY BADLY.