|Eight Crazy Nights|
This is a holiday movie about a Jewish 33-year-old named Davey (basically an animated Sandler) who is always in serious trouble. His latest antics have landed him with a stiff jail term, but as a last-chance he's allowed to do community service with the incessantly chattering basketball coach Whitey (one of Sandler's most annoying silly voices), a cross between Yoda and Mr Magoo who lives with his twin sister Eleanore (Sandler again) and befriends the local herd of reindeeer. Over the course of the eight nights of Hanukah, Davey is forced to learn Important Life Lessons, confronting his past and re-connecting with his childhood sweetheart Jennifer (Titone).
Yes: It's a Wonderful Life, Mr Scrooge! The plot is simply a cut-and-paste job, stealing every element from Christmas classics and only tangentially touching on Hanukah themes. The songs are rather forgettable and sometimes downright painful (the best one--both musically and visually--has the townsfolk remembering all the terrible things they've done to Whitey over the years).
There are a few gags that make you laugh out loud, mostly because you're surprised when something is actually funny. The animation only occasionally surpasses second-rate TV cartoons. And then there's the Sandler sensibility: The film is crammed with bodily-fluid humour and gross-out jokes that make fun of obesity, height, body hair, sexuality and even epilepsy.
It's one of those films that you watch with slack-jawed disbelief, wondering who on earth would ever want to see it (beyond a cult following of 25-year-old males). And then there's the song that goes with the closing credits, "outing" famous people as Jews as if it's shocking ... or helpful in any way. One of the strangest films you'll ever see. If you bother.
dir Seth Kearsley|
scr Brooks Arthur, Allen Covert, Brad Isaacs, Adam Sandler
voices Adam Sandler, Jackie Titone, Tyra Banks, Jon Lovitz, Kevin Nealon, Rob Schneider, Cole Sprouse, Dylan Sprouse, Austin Stout, James Barbour, Bobby Edner, Travis Tedford
release US 27.Nov.02; UK 6.Dec.02
Odd couple. Adam Sandler provides the voices for both Whitey and Davey...
Snookeroo, Mid-west US: "Just when I think Sandler can't really sink any lower. Who watches this stuff? The trailer alone is mean-spirited and completely without humor. A rude, obnoxious dude apparantly proves just what a jerk he is to a small town during the holiday season. Now THERE'S a plotline for ya! Why is this effort even a cartoon? There's no reason for this story to be animated. Sandler's ego just needed it, I guess." (21.Nov.02)
Ashley Soberanis, Chicago: "This movie is HILARIOUS! Adam Sandler is a geniuos! It's worth to watch a whole lot. This movie shows the life of a grownup when as a child lost his parents and as growing hates the holidays. I love this movie and if you want a movie that makes you laugh your guts out, this is that movie!" (10.Jul.07)