Happy Gilmore is a great movie. Billy Madison, The Waterboy, Big Daddy and The Wedding Singer are pretty good. But no actor can succeed forever, and it is pretty interesting to be able to literally see the demise of Adam Sandler.
1999's Little Nicky was a terrible, terrible movie. It wasn't funny, it cost somewhere around $100 million to make, and showed that Sandler was not invincible at the box office. Mr. Deeds showed that a return to his normal form of comedy is preferred by the mass audiences (it raked in $41 million in its first weekend), but after witnessing this atrocity, it is hard to believe that anyone will still have faith in him. And after the sure-to-be-a-flop cartoon Adam Sandler's Eight Crazy Nights, it looks like Sandler is on a one-way trip to Paulie Shore-ville.
Mr. Deeds is the worst movie I have seen this year, by far. This one makes John Q look good, and they aren't even the same genre. Adam Sandler has forgotten what is funny... all he has to do is copy what he did in Happy Gilmore and audiences will be happy; we don't want originality, we want to laugh.
Mr. Deeds is about a very friendly man from a small town who inherits $40 billion dollars. He goes to New York, clashes with the upscale civilization, and also meets a reporter whom he falls madly in love with (but he doesn't know she's a reporter). First things first: Sandler is not funny. He thinks that being a nice guy is funny, but it really isn't. All he does the whole movie is walk around, hand out money, and be not-funny. As seen in some of his better movies, Sandler does have talent, but he definitely doesn't use it here; he is about as stale as a piece of bread (that statement was more original and funnier than anything in the movie). Then there's Winona Ryder. Oh, Ms. Ryder. Besides fending off those shoplifting charges, she might have something else to worry about: a dying career. She is so utterly bad in this movie; Adam Sandler upstages her. None of her scenes are believable; it is obvious she doesn't know how to do this kind of comedy, and it is definitely obvious that she shouldn't even try. The only slight glimmer in the film is John Turturro, who plays Sandler's butler. He's funny, but only to a point. A lot more could have been done with his character, but instead they keep feeding him the same jokes over and over again. He's amusing, but not hilarious.
The only time I laughed was when the movie was so horrible that I could hardly stand being in the theater. I am an Adam Sandler fan, and I have only walked out on one movie in my whole life, and so when I say that I was on the verge of walking out of this picture, despite its short length, that has to mean something. Mr. Deeds is the worst movie of 2002.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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