Mr. Deeds

"Weak"

Mr. Deeds Review


Adam Sandler really wants you to like him. Oh, and he's also very sorry for Little Nicky, an experiment that resembled your typical Sandler flick but had the drawing power of my socks after a full-court basketball game. This time out, Sandler plays it extremely safe in an effort to please his slighted fan base and cover his once-dominated bases. Too bad repeated trips under the microscope of comedy ultimately have produced a lukewarm version of material the comedian relied upon years ago.

Sandler fills the title role in Mr. Deeds (a remake of the ancient Gary Cooper film), playing an unassuming New Hampshire resident and aspiring greeting card writer who learns he's the heir to a $40 billion media conglomerate. Since happiness isn't tied to financial gains in the Granite state, the newfound fortune doesn't faze Deeds, though he does agree to accompany two shareholders (Peter Gallagher and Erick Avari) back to Manhattan to sign what he's told is required paperwork. Once in N.Y., the "big city vs. big country" gags march down Park Avenue with mixed results.

Deeds' sudden wealth may not get his heartbeat racing, but it does propel him to the top of the society columns, which always sells papers in celebrity-starved New York. Everybody wants Deeds' story, but only one tabloid TV show manages to sneak an undercover reporter (Winona Ryder) into the billionaire's confidences. Posing as a small-town girl, Baby gets the material she needs for a juicy expose, until she finds herself falling for the kind-hearted schlub who just wants to do the right thing.

Deathly afraid to alienate any audience members with, say, a Little Nicky lisp or a Waterboy Cajun tongue, Sandler plays Deeds as straight as Pat Roberston and as bland as soup broth. His lack of enthusiasm appears most evident in his scenes with Ryder, as their interactions are peppered with monosyllabic poems and baby talk. When Ryder's not around, Sandler seems more at ease, gently goofing on the freaks and geeks that surround him. The man knows his formula well, and he wears it like a comfortable bathrobe.

At its best, Sandler's humor derives laughter from the unexpected. Somehow, he manages to convince seasoned actors (i.e. Kathy Bates, Harvey Keitel, or John Turturro) to play along with his jokes, no matter how awkward or insulting. Deeds is no different, though the tame humor here rarely gets more offensive than Turturro's butler, Emilio, who suffers an extreme foot fetish. Since Emilio also milks the film's most successful running joke, revolving around his stealth abilities, the two practically cancel each other out.

But what's the point? Nitpicking over a Sandler comedy serves little purpose. Yes, the acting is atrocious (possibly the worst I've seen this year), the romantic chemistry non-existent and the morality struggle endured by Ryder's reporter laughably manufactured. But the 13-year-olds giggling at spastic colon jokes and the sight of Steve Buscemi's crazy eyes will neither notice nor care. So welcome back, Mr. Sandler. The $100 million movie club missed you dearly.

The DVD includes a few extras -- deleted scenes, outtakes, three making-of featurettes, a few of Deeds' greeting cards, and a commentary track by writer Tim Herlihy and director Stephen Brill. The deleted scenes and outtakes provide surprisingly little to laugh at, and the only humor in the intentionally stupid greeting cards comes from wondering where Sandler came up with the absurdly thick New England accent he uses for half of them. The featurettes and commentaries also don't add much to the experience, with the most interesting and unintentionally amusing elements of each being Ryder's discussion of the surprisingly detailed backstory she developed for her character and Herlihy and Brill's fight about which of the two is actually Sandler's best friend. This last bit does at least provide some insight into how Brill ever managed to find his way into the director's chair on such a major production.

He loves pizza on Thanksgiving.



Mr. Deeds

Facts and Figures

Run time: 96 mins

In Theaters: Friday 28th June 2002

Box Office USA: $126.2M

Box Office Worldwide: $171.3M

Budget: $50M

Distributed by: Columbia Pictures

Production compaines: New Line Cinema, Columbia Pictures Corporation, Happy Madison, Out of the Blue... Entertainment

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 22%
Fresh: 34 Rotten: 121

IMDB: 5.8 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Longfellow Deeds, as Babe Bennett, as Emilio Lopez, as Marty, as Chuck Cedar, as Cecil Anderson, as Mac McGrath, as Crazy Eyes, as Jan, as Murph, as Preston Blake

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Alice Through the Looking Glass Movie Review

Alice Through the Looking Glass Movie Review

This much more light-hearted sequel reinvigorates the franchise after Disney's quirky but murky 2010 reboot...

Love & Friendship Movie Review

Love & Friendship Movie Review

Acclaimed filmmaker Whit Stillman reunites the stars of his 1998 drama The Last Days of...

Money Monster Movie Review

Money Monster Movie Review

A sleekly made thriller with a sparky sense of humour, this is also a rare...

X-Men: Apocalypse Movie Review

X-Men: Apocalypse Movie Review

This closing chapter of the First Class trilogy falls into the same trap as The...

Sing Street Movie Review

Sing Street Movie Review

A buoyant celebration of the power of music, this is the third blissfully entertaining musical...

Departure Movie Review

Departure Movie Review

Complex, dark and very moving, this British drama never makes things easy for the audience,...

Everybody Wants Some!! Movie Review

Everybody Wants Some!! Movie Review

Richard Linklater loosely follows on from two of his most acclaimed films with this lively...

Advertisement
Our Kind of Traitor Movie Review

Our Kind of Traitor Movie Review

John le Carre's novel is adapted with plenty of inventive style into a remarkably personal...

The Angry Birds Movie Movie Review

The Angry Birds Movie Movie Review

There's nothing particularly memorable about this frantic animated romp, which adapts the iconic phone-app game...

Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising [Bad Neighbours 2] Movie Review

Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising [Bad Neighbours 2] Movie Review

While it's amusing and sometimes very funny, there's an air of desperation about this sequel...

Florence Foster Jenkins Movie Review

Florence Foster Jenkins Movie Review

Although this comedy-drama seems to have been written specifically to give Meryl Streep a chance...

I Saw the Light Movie Review

I Saw the Light Movie Review

Writer-director Marc Abraham gets ambitious with this biopic about iconic country music star Hank Williams,...

Captain America: Civil War Movie Review

Captain America: Civil War Movie Review

After the formulaic thrills of The Winter Soldier and Age of Ultron, Marvel's Avengers were...

Son of Saul Movie Review

Son of Saul Movie Review

From Hungary, this year's Oscar-winning foreign film is a remarkably fresh take on the Holocaust...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.