Griffin Keyes (James) is the lead zookeper and a magnanimous loner. Five years ago he proposed to the woman of his dreams with an embarrassingly elaborate scenario and she declined in cold-blood. Now, it is his brother's chance (Nat Faxon) to marry and find happiness. Who should appear at the rehearsal dinner in the middle of the best man's speech? Stephanie (Leslie Bibb), the woman that stomped on Griffin's poor heart. Shortly after feeling a myriad of emotions (namely fear, despair, jitters and exhilaration), the zookeeper seeks advice on how to win her back. Griffin has competition from Stephanie's creepy ex-boyfriend (Donnie Wahlberg). Adding some drama to the situation, Griffin's zoo surgeon (Rosario Dawson as Kate) has a mammoth but secret crush on him. In her mind it is either win Griffin's affection or leave on a permanent safari to Nairobi, Africa.
In a nick of time, before further embarrassing himself, Griffin finds help in the most obvious yet ironically unexpected place. Given his kindness and devotion to his work, the zoo animals decide to let their keeper in on a secret. They can vocalize their thoughts! The animals are beautifully personified. Griffin's best friend is Bernie (Nick Nolte as the massive gorilla). Joe the braggadocio filled Lion is played (voiced) by Sylvester Stallone, Cher is his Lioness, Jon Favreau and Faizon Love are the grizzly Bears, Judd Apatow plays the Elephant, Maya Rudolph is the tender Giraffe, and Bazz Rutten plays the pee happy wolf, and finally, Adam Sandler plays the feces throwing monkey. Ladies and gentlemen this an astonishing cast of characters. Even better, they work together in perfect harmony.
While the animals are coaching Griffin in how to win over a woman, he is accidentally kindling a romance with Kate yet he blindly pursues his ex-lover. Griffin's lessons on love are truly hysterical. The furry companions teach him to rock out with his wang out, throw poop, urinate near a woman, remove other suitors from the equation, and the list goes on. He and Kate are so close, yet he does not pick up on her hints because his heart is still stuck in the past. Stephanie is a total snob. She thoughtlessly wants him to leave the zoo, earn more money as a sports car salesman, and transmorph into the vapid man of her dreams. She never accepts Griffin for who he truly is at heart. High drama folks at the zoo!
Few actresses play the best friend waiting in the wings better than Rosario Dawson. Everyone knows her parents and handlers prefer she choose light-hearted films and less tawdry roles, and that constructive framework has made her quite lovable. Rosario and Kevin make a believable couple. There are two obvious reasons why people with such a disparity in cosmetic attractiveness are often mocked and questioned. The first is one of those two is typically sordidly rich. The second and lesser known factor is that those of a like mind often make for the best friends and lovers. Perhaps stealing James' spotlight is Adam Sandler. His voice antics are laugh out loud funny. Zookeeper is always hilarious, sometimes cringe-worthy, and truly likeable. This is a DVD or an On Demand release you will not want to miss dear readers. Two trunks up.
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