Review Date: June 28, 2002
Director: Steven Brill
Writer: Tim Herlihy
Producers: Jack Giarraputo, Sidney Ganis
Adam Sandler as Longfellow Deeds
Winona Ryder as Pam Dawson
John Turturro as Emilio
The film also overplays the sentimentality card, and even though I did appreciate Sandler's character, his overall goodness, purity and innocence, I think they went overboard and lost all credibility when they made him give this ho-hum speech at a stockbroker's meeting, which barely inspired me to turn my head to my friend and say "that was supposed to be inspiring?" Of course, it's to note that the film is obviously not trying to be THE MAJESTIC either, but that's the problem with a movie like this which tries to balance the drama, romance and goofy comedy at the same time...it doesn't always work. Some scenes did crack me up though, like the one in which Sandler beats a street mugger silly, the scene in which he and John McEnroe go ape-shit on the town and pretty much every single moment which included John Turturro. Wow, what a discovery! Give Emilio his own movie after this one...this dude rocks! I loved Turturro's character through and through in this film, everything from his accent, to his ability to move at lightning speed to his freaky foot fetish...this guy was hilarious! (and yes, it was almost like a re-incarnated brother of his Jesus character from THE BIG LEBOWSKI). Some other characters who were also funny included Peter Gallagher and his sidekick as the big-wig businessmen, but I didn't crack one smile at Steve Buscemi's blatant moronic character or Sandler's phony-belly buddy from his hick town. Basically, I'm pretty split in the middle on this one. The message was nice but not that entirely believable, the film was easy enough to watch, but took itself too seriously sometimes, and the romance didn't work at all, while a good handful of the comedy was entertaining. At the end of the day, I think you'll get enough out of this movie if you're an Adam Sandler fan (or a Turturro fan, for that matter), but everyone else will likely just shrug their shoulders and move on to the next item up for bid.