Movie Review – “Mr. Deeds”

Mr. Deeds
Rated PG-13

Adam Sandler has made enough PG-13 comedies that they’re becoming a genre all their own. The latest in the line is “Mr. Deeds.” And if you’ve seen many of his other films, you know pretty much what to expect here.

The Story
Sandler stars as Longfellow Deeds, a small town guy who owns a pizza shop and tries to sell bad greeting card poetry to Hallmark. Then his long lost uncle dies and leaves Deeds 40 billion dollars and control of a media empire.

When Deeds gets to New York, he finds his uncle’s lifestyle unbelievable. The huge apartment. The servants. And his personal butler, Emilio (John Turturro), who has a habit of sneaking up on him. What he doesn’t know is that the men running his uncle’s company are trying to get him out of the way so they can take over and sell off everything his uncle worked to build.

Deeds is also clueless that the new love of his life (Winona Ryder) is not a school nurse, but actually an undercover reporter for a tabloid TV show out to smear him.

Unable to pretend to be sophisticated and completely uninterested in money, Deeds hugs new “friends,” shares his bad poetry freely, and hangs out with the servants. He also gives away wads of cash to almost everyone he meets. But will the innocent Deeds get his heart broken and lose his uncle’s company? More importantly, will he make you laugh before you find out?

The Verdict
If Sandler has worked for you in the past, you can expect to find some laughs with “Mr. Deeds.” A few of the scenes cracked me up, but the movie as a whole didn’t make me laugh enough to recommend it.

Part of the problem is that Sandler is much funnier to me when he’s playing angry than when he’s playing nice. And his character in “Mr. Deeds” is nice to a fault. The comedy is meant to come from the clash between the small town, innocent doofus and sophisticated, upper-crust New York City. But we’ve seen all that before in a hundred other movies.

Ryder does a nice job as the tough-as-nails reporter who eventually falls for Deeds. But she’s almost too “weighty” as an actor for this goofball comedy. She really seems to care in a movie that’s not trying to be believable.

John Turturro steals every scene he’s in as the hilarious and sneaky butler Emilio. The rest of the cast just exists to give Sandler people to play with.

“Mr. Deeds” includes bad language and some sexual and crude humor.

The Message
Most Sandler movies exist in a world that’s so silly, any serious emotion or message just comes off as dopey. But his character in Mr. Deeds has a refreshing attitude towards money. He just doesn’t care about it. He’s content with his life and friends in his small town. He doesn’t believe he needs money to be happy. He’ll take it, but he doesn’t need it.

Overall, the movie was ‘alright’. Honestly, save your $9 and spend a third of that renting it later.

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