Mr. Deeds

With Mr. Deeds, America’s favorite clown ceases to be funny.

Mr. Deeds

Directed by Steven Brill

Written by Robert Riskin based on a story by Clarence Budington Kelland

Starring Adam Sandler, Winona Ryder

If Adam Sandler’s acting career isn’t over, it should be. His comedic wad is lying
crusty and stagnant somewhere between Little Nicky and Big Daddy.
His one character, the same one he’s been doing for ten years, is deader than
Dick Cheney on a bench press. The energy that once infused his sweet but puerile
Everyguy routine with the endearing voices – it’s all gone.

Mr. Deeds finds Mr. Sandler going through the motions like a lover at an
anniversary dinner who knows the relationship is finished. He smiles wanly, says
the right things and tries to feel something, but he’s spent and guilty. He’s
also starting to look a little old and chubby, no longer the happy, guitar-strumming
savant-star of the college stand-up circuit. This crap movie claims three other
victims of note: Steve Buscemi, John Turturro and Winona Ryder. Miserable cameos
by John McEnroe and Al Sharpton add just a slight tweak to a played-out plot and
hackneyed script.

In Deeds, Sandler is once again the clueless heir to an enormous fortune,
and once again he proves that with a little sincerity from a guy in a sweatshirt
who says “wicked awesome” a lot, corporations can be profitable and responsible
to the little guy. At one pedantic point, Sandler descri-bes his media conglomerate
without irony as “great” be-cau-se it “employs 50,000 people.” At the end he wins
over a roomful of humanized shareholders with his nice-guy geek shtick. Maybe
Rupert Murdoch isn’t so heartless after all! And maybe Adam Sandler should acknowledge
he’s had a good, long run, and that it’s time to start writing and producing full-time.
Hopefully his future projects on the other side of the camera will be funnier
than this.

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