Mr. Deeds Review
By Shawn McKenzie 06/27/2002
Okay, let’s make the assumption that you generally like Adam Sandler (since most critics do not.) Do you prefer naughty Sandler, or nice Sandler?
We might be able to find the answer to the naughty or nice question by looking at the box office totals for each of his movies. Starting with Billy Madison (the first movie he exclusively starred in after achieving fame from his stint on “Saturday Night Live”): Billy Madison (1995, naughty)-$25.5 million; Happy Gilmore (1996, naughty)-$38.6 million; Bulletproof (1996, naughty)-$21.1 million; The Wedding Singer (1998, nice)-$80.2 million; The Waterboy (1998, nice)-$161.4 million; Big Daddy (1999, nice)-$163.4 million; Little Nicky (2000, naughty)-$39.4 million.
Now we have Mr. Deeds. It is a remake of the 1936 Frank Capra classic Mr. Deeds Goes to Town starring Gary Cooper in the title role. The story is about Longfellow Deeds (Sandler), a small-town boy living in Mandrake Falls, New Hampshire, who owns a pizza place and dreams of being a successful greeting card writer. One day a couple of gentlemen arrive in town to inform him that he is the sole heir of Preston Blake (Harve Presnell), a mega-rich media mogul. He is entitled to inherit $40 billion, so he goes to New York with the two gentlemen Chuck Cedar (Peter Gallagher) and Cecil Anderson (Erick Avari) to sign over the rights to Blake Media and collect his inheritance. While he is in New York he meets Babe Bennet (Winona Ryder), a woman who works for the TV tabloid show “Inside Access.” By posing as Pam Dawson, a small-town girl from Winchestertonville, Iowa, she is able to catch Deeds doing goofy things, which just serves as fodder for the show. She starts feeling guilty about what she is doing when she begins to fall in love with him.
In Mr. Deeds, Sandler is playing a nice guy again. As we see by the box office totals, that was a smart decision. It is more profitable to play the nice guy. I believe it is because he is able to draw in the female audience that way. Most women I know only like his nice guy movies. Yet even with the nice guy personality, there is still plenty of goofiness that you would expect from an Adam Sandler movie.
I must admit that I am a big fan of Sandler movies. I even liked Little Nicky! I’m still debating whether I personally prefer his naughty or nice movies (my personal favorite Sandler movie is Happy Gilmore), but Mr. Deeds delivers exactly what you might expect of it. The standouts in this movie (aside from the leads) are Conchata Ferrell as Jan, a woman who works for Deeds at the pizza place and acts as both friend and protector to Deeds; and Steve Buscemi, who is hilarious as Crazy Eyes, who is a guy with...well...crazy eyes!
Mr. Deeds is a good date movie with plenty of wacky, juvenile comedy for
the guys and just enough heart and romance for the gals. If you’re looking for
a fun time at the theater, go see it, and take your girlfriend or wife!
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