Retro Review: Mr. Deeds

Adam Sandler adopts a character very close to his hilarious “Happy Gilmore” in his new film, “Mr. Deeds”.

In the new film, Sandler plays Longfellow Deeds, a laid-back and very helpful pizzeria owner in a back woods town in New Hampshire.

Unbeknownst to Deeds, his uncle has just died and there is a frantic search to find the heir to his 40 billion-dollar corporate empire.

His uncle’s representatives fly out to New Hampshire to bring Deeds back to sign some papers so they can cannibalize the corporate empire. The representatives convince Deeds to return to New York with them.

The biggest breaking story in New York is who will inherit 40-billion dollars.

A ruthless news-station anchor named Mac (Jared Harris) wants the goods on this story and he wants his top reporter (Winona Ryder) to get the goods on the new heir.

The reporter comes up with the persona of Pam Dawson, a school nurse who comes from a little town in Iowa. Eventually Pam falls for Deeds and trouble explodes.

“Mr Deeds” is a simple comedy and has no forgiveness for what it is. The jokes are plentiful and at times gut-splitting. The best thing about this comedy is that for once not all the hilarity of a comedy is in the film’s marketing. I love being surprised by comedies and this one is one of them.

I love the comedic moments from Sandler when he loses his temper. When Deeds loses his temper it reminded me so much of Sandler’s best film to date, “Happy Gilmore”. Sandler is playing the same kind of role that has made him famous but he seems to have finally embraced his craft. The mugging and restaurant scenes are a riot.

The most hidden element of the film is the underrated performance of Deeds’ butler, Emilio (played delightfully by John Turturro). Emilio is a great character and the way Turturro brings life into what could have been a background character is very memorable. I loved that character.

I kind of wish there were more involvement with the oddballs from Deeds’ hometown in New Hampshire. I loved the Crazy Eyes character played by Steve Buscemi. I also wished the movie had gone on another 20 minutes. I felt the end was a little rushed and I so wanted to see more.

Mr Deeds will be a delightful surprise for both Adam Sandler and summer audiences. Deeds puts Sandler back in prime form and will make a lot of summer audiences smile after having to sit through so many special effects heavy pictures this summer. Also there is no “green-hue” here.

(4 out of 5)

So Says the Soothsayer.

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