think Adam Sandler is funny, but I've never understood
why he insists on using those (supposed) accents that he does. He did it
constantly while on "Saturday Night Live", and has continued with his
movies. For the most part, his "voices" are rather stupid and has no
origin to speak off (not to mention they're not all that funny). I believe the
biggest problem with Sandler is that he is unable to comprehend his own fame; he
doesn't understand that he's not famous for doing silly (and oftentimes
incomprehensible) voices, but rather because he is playing himself: a regular
Joe who gets way over his head and manages to triumph because of who he is.
That's the guy we like, the guy we root for, and the guy we want to see again
"Mr. Deeds," a remake of a 1937 film, has Sandler
not doing those silly voices, and it's a good thing because I'm not sure
if I can sit through another "Little
Nicky." Adam Sandler is
Longfellow Deeds, a happy-go-lucky New Hampshire country boy whose life is
turned upside down when he inherits $40 billion from an uncle he never knew he
had. Flown to New York by the uncle's second-in-command Chuck Cedar (Peter
Gallagher), Deeds is hounded by the media and being maneuvered by Cedar into
giving up his stake in his uncle's company. Along the way, Deeds crashes the
establishment and romances convicted kleptomaniac Winona Ryder, who plays a
tabloid journalist after Deeds' story.
"Mr. Deeds" is as far removed from "The
Waterboy" as possible, which is a good thing (at least for me). Sandler has
returned to his roots as the Common Guy who, although he's prone to fits of
physical violence (imposed justifiably on those who deserves it), is a good guy
who always does the right thing for no other reason except that it's the right
thing to do. Sandler's Deeds isn't the brightest bulb in the bunch, but that
just makes him all the more "regular." Of course the film makes Deeds
the male version of Mother Teresa (minus the fits of physical violence, natch),
but Comedies are known for exaggerations, and "Mr. Deeds" can easily
be forgiven for them.
I am surprised by how pleasant much of "Mr.
Deeds" was, and how much I enjoyed it. It's no masterpiece, that's for
sure, but it's certainly a very good way to past the time. Best of all, it seems
Sandler has found his perfect niche as the Common Guy who disrupts the
establishment for the good, and maybe that's because he is that guy. (See, Adam,
there's no need for silly voices.)
There are a number of good supporting characters in
"Mr. Deeds," but Peter Gallagher ("Sex, Lies, and
Videotape") and Jared Harris (as a tabloid reporter) really take the cake,
and perhaps the film might have been better if it had toned them down a bit.
Gallagher's Cedar is obviously built up so he can get his comeuppance in the
final minutes of the film, but I was a little disappointed that Harris' reporter
got off scot-free.
John Turturro has a funny role as Emilio, Deeds' butler who
seems to have ninja-like abilities (and not to mention a foot fetish). The
presence of Steve Buscemi ("Ghost
World") as Crazy Eyes also provides some laughs. I believe Winona Ryder
is making her first comedy here, although I can't be sure. After some
disappointing flops in recent years, it's good to see Ryder back on the big
screen again, her penchant for shoplifting notwithstanding. (What is up with
"Mr. Deeds" is a pleasantly entertaining film,
and I hope Sandler continues on this course. I can always use more of "Mr.
Deeds" and "The
Wedding Singer", but I'm not sure if I can survive another "Little
Nicky" or "The