This film is based on the first three books of the excellent series by Lemony Snicket. I have been a fan of the series for a long time, and the fact that the story was changed considerably in the movie and that some important parts were left out is hard for me to ignore. I can understand how people who have not read the books will have a totally different perception and enjoy the movie a lot more, but I found I could not really do it.
The movie starts in Snicket's usual style; we get a warning about the sadness we are about to experience and a recommendation saying we would be better off watching something else. And the mood is somber from the beginning, when the Baudelaires lose their parents. The three orphans are Violet, a very smart girl that is keen on inventing new gadgets, Klaus, a boy that spends a large portion of his time focused on books, and Sunny, the toddler that has four sharp theeth that can bite into almost anything. Now they are faced with the grim situation of having to go live with their closest relative, Count Olaf (Carey), a greedy excentric whose only goal is to get a hold of the orphan's fortune. Thus begins a series of peculiar events, including a staged wedding, a confrontation with a "dangerous" snake, and a fight against leeches.
There are several things that are good about the movie, for example the performance of the three kids and also of Meryl Streep, who plays the role of their aunt. I enjoyed the way in which Sunny's comments are introduced in the film. In the books, these are translated to us by Snicket in his narrator voice, and in the movie we get captions with what she intends to say. On the other hand, I did not like the performance of Jim Carey, I though it was over the top, making Count Olaf a bit more ridiculous than it should really be. When you add to that the changing of the story, I can only give this production 3 stars.