*** Official "MR. DEEDS" Review Thread

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Kelly W, Jun 21, 2002.

  1. Kelly W

    Kelly W Second Unit

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    I just caught a preview screening of Mr. Deeds yesterday, and I have to say that I'm glad it was free. I've liked a few Adam Sandler movies like The Wedding Singer and even Happy Gilmore, but I just can't recommend seeing this movie.
    To say that I didn't laugh at all would be unfair. John Turturro was excellent (as always) and there were a few gags that worked, but overall the humor was very inconsistent.
    Story/plotwise, there were no surprises in this movie-- if you know the setup and you're older than 12, I guarantee you know how this movie is going to turn out. The premise of the movie involving Winona Ryder has been seen in a million other movies (including, of course, the 1936 movie of which Mr. Deeds is a remake).
    Mr. Deeds will no doubt be compared to The Wedding Singer, but where the latter movie succeeds is in the fact that it does not take itself seriously. The costumes, set design, and music, in a way, wink at us letting us know that the movie knows it is silly. However, Mr. Deeds thinks much too highly of itself. There are several "touching" scenes where characters cry or instances where the filmmakers apparently intend for us to stand up and cheer.
    The mostly teenage audience in attendance seemed to enjoy the movie, but neither my wife nor I would want to watch it again.
    Save your money for something better and maybe catch it on HBO when you have nothing better to do.
    -Kelly
     
  2. Carol Razavi

    Carol Razavi Stunt Coordinator

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    Saw a preview screening too... I totally agree.
    Thank God it was free. Though I like seeing Steve Buscemi anywhere.
    Save your money... keep it for P.T. Anderson's Punch-Drunk Love with Sandler instead. That will probably be the 1st Sandler film worth paying for. Well.. the Wedding Singer too.[​IMG]
     
  3. Scott Weinberg

    Scott Weinberg Lead Actor

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    [​IMG] Ok, not demand.
    Mr. Deeds [​IMG] (out of 5)
    I used to be a big defender of Adam Sandler movies. I contend that there’s an intermittently inspired lunacy to Billy Madison, a frat-boy charm to Happy Gilmore, a lot of good-natured sweetness in The Wedding Singer, and a few good dumb gags in The Waterboy. I’ve recommended Sandler’s comedy albums to several friends, and I think the guy had some truly brilliant moments during his tenure on Saturday Night Live. Basically, I’m no highbrow Sandler-basher.
    Having said that, it seems that Sandler’s latest effort, the loose remake Mr. Deeds, is an absolutely wretched excuse for a movie. This is pure corporate moviemaking at its most low-concept, and it’s a shocking travesty that this occasionally amusing schlub earns $20 million bucks simply for churning out this cheap-looking, low-grade, cookie-cutter garbage. Sandler’s faithful fans may somehow find something to enjoy in this interminable wasteland, in that all the staples of the Sandler oeuvre - the leading man talking in a wifty little-boy voice, a gaggle of the leading man’s goofball buddies in ‘oh-so-wacky’ supporting roles, a healthy portion of pointless cameos that add nothing to the film, subplots pasted in at random points to help pad out the running time, poorly-directed slapstick sequences, etc. - are dutifully present and accounted for. Those not enamored with the comedian’s work may want to check out Mr. Deeds, if only to replenish your stockpile of disdain.
    The blueprint for an Adam Sandler movie seems somewhat redundant. Idiot goes to college, idiot plays golf, idiot sings at weddings, idiot kicks butt on the football field, idiot adopts a kid. The only logical step is...idiot inherits 40 billion dollars – and then watch 'em crank up the formula machine one more time! Ignore the fact that this awful film is based on Frank Capra’s classic Mr. Deeds Goes to Town. My guess is that the “doofus gets rich” plot was all the producers were after, but that plot was already covered in the 1936 film. No problem; use the same character name, and maybe get a few fans of the original to buy a ticket. (I wouldn’t bet on it!) I almost feel guilty using the word “plot”, but here goes:
    Longfellow Deeds is a lovable dolt of a pizzeria owner in a tiny New Hampshire town. When his Great Uncle dies while mountain climbing, Deeds inherits 40 billion bucks and heads out to New York to sign the paperwork. There he meets the predictable gaggle of cardboard cutouts: the evil businessman, the quietly friendly second-in-command, the devious reporter who manipulates Deeds to get her story, etc., etc…. Sorry, I can’t continue. “Good-natured idiot inherits billions, meets a girl, and thwarts bullies.” There’s your plot. I shouldn’t have to do more work than the screenwriters.
    Directed with the panache that only the creator of The Mighty Ducks can bring to your project, Mr. Deeds is a poorly made and charmless affair. The movie contains not one solid laugh. Not. One. Mr. Deeds may earn a few mild smirks from the audience, but those may surface due to sheer exhaustion – or simple charity. The stunning lack of quality comedy material is essentially unforgivable, especially considering how much Sandler earns. Why not use 5% of his wildly undeserved paycheck to hire a few screenwriters who can contribute something resembling actual comedy?
    Familiar faces pop up all over the place – from John McEnroe to Steve Buscemi to Rob Schneider – and each successive cameo makes you wonder why nobody was given anything FUNNY to do. (Buscemi plays a guy with googly eyes. That’s the whole gag.) The only one putting forth any real effort is John Turturro, who (for some tragic reason) opts to play Deeds’ Spanish butler (who naturally has a foot fetish). As hard as the brilliant character actor tries, he’s given literally nothing to work with. He earns praise simply for trying to breathe some life into this turgid heap. As far as the two leads go, Sandler is employing his full-on Wedding Singer schtick, only with a little of Happy Gilmore’s violent temper. To say any more about his ‘acting’ would be an affront to those who are actually ‘actors’. Winona Ryder is the love interest, and while it’s always nice to see Ms. Ryder onscreen, Mr. Deeds – if nothing else – stands as a testament to her blatant discomfort around a punchline. In other words: funny she ain’t.
    Mr. Deeds feels like it was conceived, written, and directed in about two weeks. By any measure of cinema, however generous, this is a terrible movie. Were this Sandler’s first or second foray into big-screen comedy, you could attribute the movie’s ineptitude to something resembling inexperience – but he’s been making the exact same movie for 15 years now, and that’s just insulting. Unfortunately, I still believe that Sandler’s got some brilliant stuff inside, and that’s why I’ll continue to wade through crap like Mr. Deeds. When Sandler decides to disengage this pathetic ‘career autopilot’ he’s mired in, I’ll be the first guy in line to see what he’s offering.
    Since I refuse to let this review run longer than the film’s actual screenplay, I’ll wrap things up. The fact that Billy Madison and The Wedding Singer somehow manage to be Sandler’s BEST efforts is a depressingly telling statement. The ‘lovable idiot’ schtick ran dry about three movies go, Mr. Sandler. Isn’t it about time to tear up your “goofball underdog” blueprint and offer moviegoers something at least as amusing as your comedy albums? You can’t pander to 14-year-olds forever.
     
  4. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    This thread is now the Official Review Thread for Mr. Deeds. Please post all HTF member reviews in this thread.
    Any other comments, links to other reviews, or discussion items will be deleted from this thread without warning!
    If you need to discuss those type of issues, please post your discussion comments in the Official Discussion Thread for this film which can be found here.
    Thank you for your consideration in this matter.
    Crawdaddy
     
  5. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    Hey, I laughed a lot in "Mr. Deeds". Sure, the laughs are from corny material, or physical humor, or atrocious poetry, but I found it funny nonetheless. I don't go to Adam Sandler films to be wowed by the plot, but to be entertained in a sitcom-y way, and in that respect, "Mr. Deeds" is okay for the price of a matinee showing. I also enjoyed seeing Winona Ryder with long hair (with blonde highlights/streaks), and showing some cleavage. If you don't laugh in this movie, you're just in a bad mood.

    I give it 2.75 stars, or a grade of B-.
     
  6. MikeAcc

    MikeAcc Agent

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    I am with Patrick, funny movie. I enjoyed it. I always go into an Adam Sandler movie with the brain checked at the door.
    Post Edited By Administrator - Do Not Repost
     
  7. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    This is the Official Review thread! If you want to discuss reviews others have posted then do so in the Official Discussion thread. Furthermore, reviews are mainly based on subjective and personal opinion.
    Crawdaddy
     
  8. Randall Z

    Randall Z Stunt Coordinator

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    I caught this film this morning. I have seen Sandler's other films and enjoyed them all. This one however failed to really get going. Other than a few funny scenes, the film was never able to build any momentum. I agree that John Turtorro totally stole the show. He was funnier than Adam Sandler. The problem was that compared to his other films, Sandler's Longfellow Deeds was vanilla. He didn't have the outrageous temper of Happy Gilmore, or the child-like mentality of the Waterboy and Billy Madison. He just played an ordinary guy. He did a fine job, the problem is that ordinary people aren't typically very entertaining.
    Good for a few laughs, but I'd recommend either seeing Undercover Brother or waiting for Austin Powers if you want to laugh.
    Overall Mr. Deeds gets: [​IMG] 1/2 out of [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  9. Rob P S

    Rob P S Cinematographer

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    ***1/2 out of ****
     

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