ZOOKEEPER (PG for some sexual suggestion, some time-tested potty jokes): This amiable but boringly unfunny comedy, lamely smudged together by five writers with unending slapstick humor in mind (which wants desperately to be funny & sweet at the same time, and with chubby, likable Kevin James in the title role is supposed to succeed). It's James' movie. He's in nearly every scene, hopping from one zoo situation to another and from one romantic failure to another, in a persona that is overlaid with expressions, voice, and actions of Lou Costello (of Abbott & Costello fame) - amusing but never allowing the Costello richness to come through. His character could be called a hapless sweetie who is unlucky in love, who spends his time caring for (and talking with) the various denizens of the zoo. Yup, he talks with them, thanks to CGI effects and the voices of Judd Apatow, Maya Rudolph, Sylvester Stallone, Cher, Don Rickles, & Adam Sandler. And while most of the critters are live, there's one - a pervasive gorilla with a human inside of its unbelievably phony outfit. Meant to be funny or just ineptly created? Who knows. The humor certainly isn't written into a script so unfunny, the best line is, "It's so hot my elbows are sweating."
Director Frank Coraci is no help, either. He seems bent on borrowing (robbing, that is) the use of worn clichés rather than surprising us with fresh, original humor - and even then, he seems hell bent on draining the humor out of that might have been funny.
I was once asked by a foreign student to explain what "corny" was. If this movie were around then, rather than explain that it's when something supposed to be clever isn't, I could have pointed out this film as 101-minutes of sustained, bona fide "corny." (Grade: D+)