8 Crazy Nights Review
By Shawn McKenzie 11/28/2002
Like Robin Williams, I think 2002 is a comeback year for Adam Sandler. Both of them have had a few bombs lately, and this year they have come back, commercially and critically (the latter is mainly in Williams’ case though.) After Mr. Deeds and Punch Drunk Love, Sandler brings us this new animated holiday movie 8 Crazy Nights, based off a line from his song “The Chanukah Song.” It’s not his best movie of the three, but it is a fun one.
Davey Stone (voice of Sandler) is a 33-year-old guy living in the town of Dukesberry. He is the local jerk who was once a nice kid, but now hates himself, most everyone else, and mainly the holidays. Following his latest drunken rampage, which results in him destroying the ice sculptures of Santa Claus and a giant menorah, the local Judge (voice of Norm Crosby) is about to give Davey a ten-year jail sentence, but Whitey Duvall (voice of Sandler) steps up with an alternative sentence suggestion. Whitey is a short, hairy, 69-year-old man with a strange voice and uneven feet, and he remembers when Davey was a good kid and the best basketball player around. He figures he can make a difference in Davey’s life, so he asks the judge to sentence Davey to being his assistant referee in the youth basketball league. Davey doesn’t like this suggestion, but it's better than being sent to prison for ten years. Aside from a desire to help out Davey, Whitey is mostly interested in winning the 35th annual Dukesberry Patch for community service. Davey is attracted to his former childhood friend Jennifer (voice of Jackie Titone, singing voice of bluegrass superstar Alison Krauss) even though he won’t admit it. She has a son named Benjamin (voice of Austin Stout) who seems to have the same natural basketball talent as Davey. After arson burns down his trailer, however, Davey is forced to move in with Whitey and his fraternal twin sister, Eleanor (voice of Sandler.) Davey slowly begins to develop into a better person, but it won't be until he deals with his past that he'll finally feel the spirit of the holidays.
8 Crazy Nights really has a Christmas Carol feel to it, but it is nowhere near a rip-off of it. It is a entertaining little holiday movie, but you need to know tha just because it is a cartoon, it is not a kiddie movie. This movie stretches the boundaries of the PG-13 rating it got. There are lots of gross-out scenes (most of them involving feces for some reason) that is not really appropriate for little kids.
I liked the vocal performances in this movie, with a few exceptions. Titone’s performance was a little stiff (my guess is that she got the job because she is dating Sandler), but Krauss’s singing voice is beautiful, like usual, though it is so weird to hear her in this movie. Sandler is creative with the various voices he has, though his performance of Whitey comes very close to becoming overbearingly annoying.
8 Crazy Nights is a good movie to check out, even though it is not Sandler’s best movie. Please though…don’t bring your young kids to this movie! If you want a more appropriate funny take-off of A Christmas Carol, go rent Scrooged. Oh…one more thing…this movie is a fun holiday movie whether you are Jewish, Christian, or whatever.
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