Thursday, June 12, 2008

Stupidity Equals Money, Just Ask Adam Sandler

I recently saw Adam Sandler''s latest flick You Don't Mess With The Zohan, and I can honestly say that it is one of the worst films of 2008 and rivals such classics as Catwoman and I Know Who Killed Me (which is a masterpiece of crap in its own right). Back when I was a young buck, full of naivete and bathroom humor, Sandler was a god among men. Billy Madison, The Waterboy, Happy Gilmore, Big Daddy--the Sandman delivered the goods by acting like a moron onscreen. He's the forever manchild. And you know what? I still love those movies for the sheer stupidity. But that was when Sandler was unaware of it--it was just his sense of humor. Years later, he has become more conscious and self-aware of his style of comedy--he's becoming a character of himself. So he's ventured into some new territories.

Sandler went dramatic for a while, busting out somewhat notable films such as Spanlish and Reign Over Me. I give him a B for effort for those films, but Punch-Drunk Love blew me away. Who knew the Sandman could actually act?! Yet, instead of pursuing this kind of career, he's strayed far from it. I won't lie--he actually does make a great leading man for romantic comedies as seen opposite Drew Barrymore in The Wedding Singer and 50 First Dates. But it was the descent into pure absurdity as seen through the film Little Nicky that Sandler has never recuperated from. It was just too childish and immature. From that point on, Sandler tried to mature into an adult comedian, busting out conventional flare like The Longest Yard, Click, I Now Pronounce You Chuck And Larry, and Anger Management. The bigger Sandler got, the more notable actors he started working with, slowly making his way to the A-list. But here's the kicker: these movies have made 100s of millions of dollars! Sandler now has nine, yes, that's right, nine films that have crossed the $100 million mark.

You Don't Mess With The Zohan could possibly his stupidest movie ever. Filled with sex, sex, sex jabs and inside jokes about the Jewish culture (apparently Israelis brush their teeth with hummus?), the movie was just simply boring. Of course it got me to laugh at some moments (Zohan's dolphin swim, his threat to Paul Mitchell), and it had the gorgeous Emmanuelle Chriqui (is it me or is Sandler now getting really really fucking hot women to act opposite him--see: Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, and Marisa Tomei). But the movie just goes all over the place from sex comedy to political satire on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict to this whole thing about him being a metrosexual hairdresser. I donno, it was just boring and not creative even though the concept was quite original (apparently, though, there is an actual Zohan in real life. I saw some LA Times article on it). What really hurt the most, though? The fact that Robert Smigel of Saturday Night Live cartoon and Triumph the Insult Comic Dog fame and my one of my personal (and Hollywood's) favorites Judd Apatow cowrote this piece of crap. How the fuck did they get involved?

Now don't get me wrong. I love Adam Sandler to death. In my childhood, he along with Jim Carrey were my favorite actors. He can be funny, and he seems like one of the coolest, most down-to-earth guys ever. I feel like we could be drinking buddies. But his movies just plain suck. After his next film Bedtime Stories, he'll be coming out with a comedy directed by Judd Apatow called Funny People, set in the world of stand-up comedy. I won't lie when I say I'm nervous about it. I don't want Apatow to descend into this bullshit humor. The cast is fantastic, though, as it involves recurring Apatow actors Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, and Leslie Mann, and welcomes newcomers to the group Eric Bana (who knew he could do funny?) and Jason Schwartzmann. The cast gives me hope, and who know, maybe Apatow and Sandler will actually do right by this one. But in Hollywood, though, who cares if the movie's good as long as it makes money.

The Money Playlist (coming soon)

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