Mr. Deeds (2002)
"That's amazing I really didn't feel a thing. You're good--now give me back my wallet, Ryder!"
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This Mr. Deeds is an extremely loose remake of Mr. Deeds Goes To Town starring Gary Cooper. In a stroke of genius casting (I'm kidding of course), Adam Sandler has been cast in the Gary Cooper role.
Longfellow Deeds is a fun, likable man who finds himself showered with billions of dollars after his rich, crazy uncle passes on and leaves him a huge inheritance. To everyone's surprise, all this money doesn't really seem to change Deeds. He remains the same sort of good natured fun seeker that he was in the beginning. Of course, there are many people in Deeds' new life who seem to have a hidden agenda. And the media doesn't make anything easier. Did I fail to mention that there is also a romance? Winona Ryder turns up as a journalist who sees Deeds as an opportunity for a big story, and gradually develops feelings for him.
Make no mistakes, Mr. Deeds is an Adam Sandler vehicle. Happily, it is far more entertaining than Little Nicky. Of Sandler's goofball resume, I'd probably compare this film to The Wedding Singer. No annoying accent here, just a likable Sandler. Adam also gets help from a hilarious supporting cast, most notably John Turturro as Mr. Deeds' servant. You might ask yourself; "What the hell is Turturro doing in a Sandler film?" My response is I have no idea, but he's damn funny and steals every scene he's in. I also liked Sandler film favorite Steve Buscemi as a eccentric character name Crazy Eyes.
Mr. Deeds was directed by Steven Brill and written by Tim Herlihy, two men who work with Sandler quite often. They do nothing out of the ordinary here. They pretty much just let Sandler do his thing. And while Mr. Deeds isn't always laugh-out-loud hilarious, it does have a sweet tone and a surprisingly old-fashioned sensibility. It also has Sandler's oddball sense of humor. He and Ryder don't quite have the chemistry that Sandler and Drew Barrymore had in The Wedding Singer, but there's still enough sparks to make the movie work.
I'm a big Sandler fan. I really enjoyed Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore and The Wedding Singer. I even enjoyed parts of Big Daddy. I could have done without The Waterboy and Little Nicky and thankfully, the light and nutty Mr. Deeds is much better than both of those films. Is this better than the original? Of course not. These are different times and Sandler knows that. He's taken the original and made it his own and for Sandler fans, that's a good thing indeed.
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