Sunday, July 7, 2002

Movie Review: Mr. Deeds

I was absolutely certain that Mr. Deeds would suck. The previews sucked, except for that part where John Turturro stabs Sandler's foot with the fire poker. That made me chuckle. So it was with great apprehension that I got dragged into this movie.

The premise of the movie: Mr. Blake, a billionaire media magnate dies, leaving no apparent heir. A search for his next of kin reveals a simpleton nephew, Longfellow Deeds (Sandler), who has never even left his small northeastern town. Blake's second hand man, Chuck Cedar (Peter Gallagher), whose intentions are less than noble, pays Deeds a visit, telling him he has inherited hundreds of thousands of shares in Blake's corporation; shares which Cedar offers to buy from Deeds for $40 billion. The good-natured Deeds agrees, and flies to New York to finalize the deal.

Here he meets "Pam Dawson" (Winona Ryder), a tabloid journalist posing as a sweet school nurse in order to get the scoop on Deeds. We also meet Deeds' "sneaky" new butler, Emilio (John Turturro), who has the uncanny--and hilarious--ability to pop up unsuspectedly.

Anyway, predictably, the two leads fall in love, she feels bad about lying, he starts figuring out that Cedar is up to no good, etc. Will Deeds and Pam find happiness? Will Cedar's evil plot be foiled? What do you think?

Mr. Deeds, while not Sandler's best movie (those honors go to Happy Gilmore, or maybe The Wedding Singer), did not, in fact, suck (those honors go to Big Daddy. Ugh). There are some good laughs, mostly from secondary characters like Emilio, Steve Buscemi's Crazy Eyes, and Cecil (Erick Avari), and a riotous cameo by tennis legend John McEnroe. I thought Ryder did just okay, and Sandler was, well, Sandler.

I recommend it as a renter.

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