go home!picksWilliamsburg Gallery GuideWilliamsburg Restaurant Reviewsmusic reviewsfilm reviewsOur Online GalleryCelebrity Interviews by Alexander LaurenceLocal ColorWilliamsburg Bar ReviewsBook ReviewsHand-Picked LinksPast Issues ArchivedInteractive Williamsburgcontact us

Something has to be done about Adam Sandler.

The Adam Sandler phenomenon could be a study in American pop culture - emperor’s new clothes syndrome. Somewhere along the way we as moviegoers collectively decided that Adam Sandler is funny regardless of what he actually puts out. This is why his movies automatically pull in tens of millions of dollars. It certainly isn’t because he’s funny. Not anymore.

Nicky is an abused younger brother and child of Satan, literally. Satan (played by Harvey Keitel, a well respected actor who should know better) must decide who should ascend to the throne as the new prince of darkness. He must decide between the painfully good-hearted, endearing Nicky and his two power hungry brothers Cassius (Tom “Tiny” Lister Jr.) and Adrian (Rhys Ifans). Satan, in his infinite wisdom, decides against either of the wicked brothers or mild mannered Nicky and keeps the throne for himself. The frustrated brothers go up to Earth in order to create their own hell by manipulating people. A rash decision motivated by impatience and pride? I smell a life lesson. Unfortunately, this disrupts the balance between earth and hell, leaving Satan in a dangerous position. It’s up to Nicky to get his brothers back and save his father. In the process, Nicky will learn a little bit about life, love and facing challenges. His guide is a talking bulldog who teaches Nicky the wonders of the world, such as Popeye’s chicken. He gets an apartment with a gay roommate (because there are gay people in the big city – yikes!). Nicky befriends two Satan worshipping metal fans. He also runs into a sweet art student from Parsons (played by Patricia Arquette).

It’s only a comedy, the strength of the movie isn’t in a fresh plot. But, it doesn’t have to be formulaic either. Adam Sandler’s movies always seem to feature a character that is really flawed but has one endearing trait that makes him sweet. Billy Madison is a moron who never made it past the first grade but he’ll come to the aid of his friend who peed in his pants. Happy Gilmore is a violent hockey player turned golfer who needs to look after his grandmother. Sonny Koufax (from Big Daddy) is immature and irresponsible but is disarmed by the child he uses to scam his girlfriend. He has proven that he can go too far to achieve this. He’s been putting out films like The Waterboy and this new film, Little Nicky, in which he acts mentally challenged in order to appear sweet. It doesn’t work. It only makes him look stupid.

Now, you might be saying to yourself “critics should just lighten up, it’s no big deal”. The fact is that I’m saying all of this because I care. I really do. I’ve been with Sandler since the beginning. I don’t mean Billy Madison. I’m not even talking about Saturday Night Live. I’m talking about MTV’s Half-hour Comedy Hour, Remote Control, Stand-up Stand-up on Comedy Central, even The Cosby Show. That’s right, The Cosby Show. He was one of Theo’s high school buddies. I’ve seen him rise and lately I’ve become very disappointed. People, it’s time for some tough love. It’s not that I think that his style of humor is juvenile. Billy Madison still stands up as a funny film. So does Happy Gilmore. He even manages to pull off that sweet guy thing in The Wedding Singer. However, The Waterboy and Big Daddy should not have been made. People beg for more Adam Sandler movies without even asking for quality. Unless we demand more from Adam Sandler, he’s just going to keep churning out drivel. Whatever idea pops into his head turns into a script and soon it’s in theaters.

The film managed to be mildly amusing in parts due only to all of the cameos. Kevin Nealon, Dana Carvey, Harvey Keitel, Rodney Dangerfield, Rob Schneider, Jon Lovitz, Carl Weathers, Reese Witherspoon, John Witherspoon, Quentin Tarantino, Michael McKean, Ellen Cleghorn and even the Harlem Globetrotters made the flick bearable. This movie has a few moments. It’s hard not to like Kevin Nealon with breasts on his head or watching Hitler get a pineapple where the sun don’t shine. The weakest link was Sandler’s sappy, annoying portrayal of Nicky.

Adam Sandler needs your help. Rent Billy Madison and keep your $9.50 for when he starts making funny movies again.



Free Williamsburg© | 93 Berry Street | Brooklyn, NY 11211
[email protected] | November 2000 | Volume 8