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Mr Deeds


Starring: Adam Sandler, Winona Ryder, Peter Gallagher, Jared Harris, John Turturro, and Steve Buscemi
Directed by: Steven Brill
Rated PG13

 

Okay, you're a screenwriter and you need a new film for Adam Sandler. You'll want to go back to the tried and true; the silliness of Water Boy, the canned but effective outbursts of Happy Gilmore and avoid mention of the Sandler Slip Little Nicky….the only film I enjoyed by the man. So what do you do? Find an old film at Blockbuster and "adapt" it. Great idea.

NOT.

In this case the "retelling" is the Frank Capra classic Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, starring that adorable legend Gary Cooper. Are you getting that ping of pain in your stomach yet? I admit it Sandler is not my cup-o-Joe. His comedy is a tad too quasi-cerebral and fart jokey for me. The real guy I love. Ad's a nice man with a heart of gold. We just disagree on his film personas. But who am I? I know his fans will even raise an eyebrow at this ill attempt at comedy riddled with the patented Adam Sandler smirk and gosh-golly -me responses. It's tired.

The story is one that's been beaten to a pulp a billion times before. Longfellow Deeds (Adam Sandler) is a regular schmuck working and living his life. He owns a small pizza parlor and moonlights as an aspiring greeting card writer (hardy har) Then he inherits 40 billion dollars and the reigns of a multi-billion dollar media company (think Wiiliam R. Hearst). So he leaves behind his normal oh-so-mundane-poor-loser-doesn't-know-he's-a-loser life for the big city; partly because Maine is too dull to squander 40 billion bucks, partly so we can watch him fumble and succeed at big business and partly because the first Deeds did.

Snore. Sorry, where was I? Right babbling about a movie that already robbed me of precious hours of my chickbabe life!

Now in New York - please insert huge apartment, servants the whole Trading Places look for a visual - Deeds saves a young and beautiful gal from a mugger's attack. Hmm, it's act two must be the love interest.

Yep, Babe Bennet (Winona - catering might be a better career choice - Ryder) a wilting flower of a girl. Ha. Babe's an ambitchous journalist that works for a tabloid. She'd do anything for the story on Deeds....but just can't seem to help but fall for the quirky simple fellow. Can their new love withstand his new found fortune?

That's it that's the story. But it's a comedy and we don't need plot twists and clever character developments…and we certainly don't get them. Hey I'm no snob I still roar over the bean scene in Blazing Saddles!

What we do get is the once unthinkable, bad performances bad John Turturro and Steve Buscemi. They each have Commander McObvious SNL type characters designed for the gag. Of course the writer meant sight gag not actual gagging complete with acid reflux! YECH and shame on you boys.

Peter Gallagher, who shows as Deeds' corporate nemisis Chuck Cedar, is wasted too. Pete's a great underrated talent. Somebody cast this man in something worthy would ya?

There are about four laughs in the thing, and that's not good when your Adam Sandler….now if he were Tom Green and the film had a whole four laughs it would be worthy of a full page ad in Variety and ticker tape parade but Adam? He's better than this film le poo.

Snack recommendation: Pizza and videos at home….perhaps an Adam Sandler night filled with his old funny when-he-was-still-fresh stuff?

 

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