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36 out of 49 people found the following review useful:

Sandler's lovable fool has a serious message while slipping on a banana skin

Author: aliciadipesto from London, England
28 April 2003

Nobody goes to see an Adam Sandler movie for spiritual enrichment or intellectual stimulation - let's get that out of the way first. Once you accept you've paid your money to be mildly entertained in a lighthearted, slapstick manner, strap in and enjoy the ride.

I keep hearing Sandler is a major Hollywood player these days with an equal footing as producer as he is actor (he has produced a considerable amount with fellow actor Rob Schneider - the similarly inane but funny - mostly in spite of yourself - Hot Chick being the most recent example, in which he has a cameo role and indeed, Schneider helps Sandler out in Mr Deeds) so it's hard to prove that Sandler is now typecast as a lovable fool, because it's fairly likely he chose the part himself, possibly aware that Hamlet might be a little out of his league. Sandler need only check his bank balance to see that the lovable fool is certainly a lucrative one, having made an absolute mint playing countless other characters blessed with naive charm and a heart of gold.

The story - we all know it's a remake of the classic depression-era propaganda film starring Gary Cooper, designed to lift spirits and foster a sense of community - centres around a picturesque New England town and its perenially-cheerful, smalltown inhabitants, chiefly Longfellow Deeds (Sandler), who inherits a fortune from an uncle he never knew, finds himself at the helm of a media empire and heads to the Big Apple to find out more. Here Winona Ryder steps in as the ambitious TV reporter determined to get her big scoop and dupes the affable Deeds into falling in love with her. All the time she's wearing a wire and a hidden camera to enable their courtship and his antics, sometimes drunken, sometimes heroic, to be broadcast on the evening news. Typically Deeds is the last to know and is appalled when he makes the connection. By which time Ryder's character has fallen in love herself, resigned from her job and is begging for a second chance.

Deeds' only flaw is a short fuse and this is at odds with his generous spirit, who at times could be George Bailey, James Stewart's kindly smalltown character in Capra's It's a Wonderful Life (1946), but this spices things up a little and allows the suspension of disbelief to continue a little longer. The number of disrespectful, foulmouthed city folk he takes out is entertaining, while not always convincing, but then times have changed and these days your average bloke doesn't think of taking a swing at a man for swearing in front of a lady (more's the pity I say).

While you could aim criticism at this and jeer at the corny lines and simplistic moral at the film's end, there is something to be cherished here. The moral of course being that money is less important than being true to yourself, and while you're at it, be nice to your neighbour. As Mother Teresa once said, kindly words are heard once but their echoes are heard for ever - Deeds' character and his deeds (pun definitely intended) themselves are echoes of another, lamentably more innocent time and it's uplifting to see this spirit so laboured in the film's remake. It's also refreshing to see this bravely recreated by the producers, who have not shied away from dealing with the film's essence in these cynical times.

It's not all sentimental Queen of Hearts stuff though. There are some hilarious, laugh-out-loud moments that counter the film's message perfectly - the helicopter ride to Manhattan where the crew and Deeds are singing 'A Space Oddity' complete with air-guitar springs to mind here - and there is the usual dose of slapstick you'd expect from a Sandler picture. The 7 flying cats rescued from a burning building by our hero is particularly memorable and as I say, I was laughing in spite of myself.

This humour compliments the film's slushy message and prevents any actual retching in the theatre - leaving the cinemagoer shuffling out content, with a smile on his face - definitely a feelgood movie. I just hope Sandler doesn't attempt It's A Wonderful Life next, I don't think the world's quite ready yet.

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25 out of 29 people found the following review useful:

While pointless, it's still a fun movie

Author: Kristine ( from Chicago, Illinois
11 January 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Mr. Deeds, the remake of Mr. Deeds Goes To Town, Mr. Deeds Goes To Town is an old comedy that is personally one of my favorite comedies. It's just a wonderful film that I highly recommend you watch if you get the chance. So Adam Sandler decided to take on that classic and make it into his film, which honestly isn't that bad, just in comparison, believe me then you look at it as a horrendous film. It was just one of those movies that really didn't need a remake. But Adam Sandler did bring his own bite to the film and just updated the story for the younger generation that obviously never heard of the movie.

After Preston Blake freezes to death at the summit of Mount Everest with a triumphant smile on his face, a search for his heir for his successful company begins. When it is found that he has a living nephew named Longfellow Deeds who runs a pizzeria in New Hampshire, Deeds is contacted and brought to New York City by attorney & businessman Chuck Cedar. Plans are made for Deeds to sell his shares in the company to Cedar and return home $40 billion richer, but he must remain in New York for a few days as all the legal details are worked out. The story is major news, and reporter Babe Bennett, who works for a tabloid show, has a friend pretend to steal her purse in sight of Deeds, because their research indicated Deed wanted to meet a girl by saving her, the same way his father had met his mother. Deeds rescues her and she continues to go out with him under the disguise of Pam Dawson, school nurse. Though Pam initially hopes to just get a good story on the new heir, she eventually falls for the kind-hearted Deeds while realizing that all she's done is lie to him and wants to be with him. Chuck is also up to no good in wanting to take over the company from Deeds and doesn't have the best intentions.

Mr. Deeds has a few funny moments, even though it was incredibly immature, I do have to admit that I got a kick out of the scene where Longfellow shows off his frostbite foot and tells the servant to hit it with the fire poker, and screams to freak him out, yeah, it's something that most little brothers would do to their older sibling, but it still got a laugh. Wynonia Rider was actually pretty good in the film, she was very adorable, but her chemistry wasn't exactly on key with Sandler, not her fault, just I wasn't feeling it too much in the film. Over all the film is worth the look if you see it on TV, but otherwise, I wouldn't recommend going out of your way to see the movie.


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28 out of 45 people found the following review useful:

Very Funny But ..........

Author: ccthemovieman-1 from United States
20 March 2006

This, once again, has most of the earmarks of modern-day comedies: tons of sexual innuendos, lots of good laughs but many of them out of questionable lines or behavior, and a stupid, rushed ending that tries to make all the good guys win and the bad guys lose. The latter is fine - I want the good guys to prevail - but they way they go about it is stupid.

I did think this movie had a little softer edge than most other blatantly-low class "Something About Mary/American Pie"-type comedies of today however. I guess what I am saying is this isn't as in-your-face type offensive most of the rest are.

Of course, Adam Sandler is playing the low-key Gary Cooper role of Mr. Deeds from the 1940s, so he's not the high-strung Happy Gilmore type here, although he does get violent at times. Winona Ryder plays the love interest, a tabloid low-moral reporter who is reformed by the amiable Mr. Deeds. She's not believable at all and one can see one reason she isn't much of star actress anymore. It isn't just her real-life problems. She's pretty and she's okay in the role but something's missing in her acting.

The real star of the film is John Turturro, as the Spanish butler. He's funny in about every scene he's in and he's a guy everyone roots for here.

In summary, it's a pretty nice film, with a number of laugh-out-loud scenes, but it's still a long way from the Gary Cooper-Barabara Stanwyck classic film version, at least in terms of an aw-shucks wholesome hero. This film just doesn't have the heart and soul of the original, because it's more concerned with cheap laughs than a moral message. Still, it has its funny moments and I found worth watching.

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21 out of 37 people found the following review useful:

Horrifying, unlaughable, probably a Communist plot

Author: seandavidson
6 December 2002

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Spoilers ahead, probably. The movie is simply awful, diseased and ridden with more fleas than Hennie Youngman's long dead one-liner underpants. Al Sharpton is hilarious to laugh at, except at the mercy of these writers. HOW DO YOU MAKE AL SHARPTON UNFUNNY? John Turturro, John McEnroe, Steve Buscemi -- all talents (and funny!) drained by this vampiric script. Death reeks from every orifice here, from the greeting card "bits" (what else to call them?) to the hackneyed physical stuff. Thoughts:

--what's with Sandler's dubbed voice over Murph? when will someone tell this idiot that he can't do "funny voices"? HE CAN'T EVEN MANAGE HIS OWN RIDICULOUS VOICE.

--get 40 billion dollars, toss $25k at a random couple in a restaurant, $40k for used bikes, rent MSG for a night: the writers didn't even bother to stop drinking long enough to come up with ONE cool thing to do with a massive fortune. HOW DO YOU MAKE BREWSTERS MILLIONS LOOK LIKE CINEMATIC GENIUS?

--since when does nice mean RETARDED?

--if smalltownville is so great, why's it full of psychos, dullards and freaks of nature? (the self-defeating premise of doom)

--didn't realize Ryder couldn't act. Hmmmm. much like Sandler, has been delivering the same performance again and again since onset of career

--trying to show off how much you researched the bumblefunk towns of the northeast? WICKED lame.

--Stephen King is scary jokes?

--how tiny do you have to be down under to make yourself into a phony physical tough guy in every movie? i mean, does anyone actually believe that sandler can "beat the crap" out of anyone else?

--on what network do you find a moustachioed limeystralian foreigner hosting an American television show?

--sandler and romance::pasta and nuclear chunks. it's (unintentionally) funny that the premise also includes the phony "sandler could get someone if he didn't have money subplot"...can this guy even get dates as a movie star? THIS is a leading man?

--peter gallagher's eyebrows, bald guy's beard, everyone's performance -- SADISM.

--french fries and oreo's on pizza? hooooeeee! that guy is mad cap. same guy that gives the hero the turning point plot exposition in the end. while you're at it, why don't you land the helicopter at Wendy's? yeee haw. they're out of control.

--OMG the torrent of lost jokes on the JETS. ye gods, what a real writer could have done with them...

--Yes, like any sensible American, I found myself actually rooting for the ice on the lake to win after the egregiously fat woman didn't have the cajones to finish the job

I am making travel arrangements to hollywood to personally get my money back from these thieves. Time permitting, will torture them for 90-odd minutes by making them watch....well, Little Nicky comes to mind... ;)

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Not the best Sandler movie, but not the worst, either.

Author: lewiskendell from United States
20 March 2010

I thought Mr. Deeds was absolutely hilarious, when I was a kid. It was one of my favorite movies. Now that I'm older, and have a lot more experience with comedies, I have to admit that it's not quite as wonderful as I once thought it was. It's so-by- numbers and unimaginative, that I can't imagine much passion or effort was put into making it, at all.

There are a few laughs to be had, but no more than any other typical Sandler movie. The story is shallow and the characters are so one-dimensional, that it's hard to really have much of an interest in what's going on. Somehow, it seems like not enough happens to even account for the relatively short running-time. I've simply grown-up, and besides how pretty Winona Ryder is, nothing about Mr. Deeds is as good as I remember.

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8 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Pretty Funny, but Ultimately Average

Author: mjw2305 from England
13 October 2007

Longfellow Deeds (Adam Sandler) is a small town guy who is taken to the big city when he learns he has an inheritance of $40 billion from a long lost uncle. He has to adjust to life in a Palatial Mansion with a personal butler, and he meets a beautiful school nurse (Winona Ryder); but its not long before the money begins to change everything, and he learns things are not what they seem.

This remake is not without plenty of laughs, but it never quite manages to do anything thats truly hilarious or new. For a bit of fun its worth a watch, but it's one of those films that you will forget about pretty quickly.

6/10 its just average i'm afraid

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

I used to think this was the funniest movie...

Author: jhs4 from United States
11 April 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

When this movie first came out, I was about 13 or 14 years old. I remember I couldn't stop laughing every time I watched it. I was literally obsessed with the movie. I would watch it through, then rewind the tape, and watch it again. I spent most of my winter vacation from school watching Mr. Deeds. I begged for the DVD for my birthday, and by the time I got the DVD, I was so sick of the movie that I never wanted to watch it again. I was just flipping through channels today and it was on Comedy Central, and I was trying to figure out what amazed me so much about this movie. It is corny, dull, and predictable. The whole love story that develops throughout the movie has no chemistry, and the actors cannot convince the audience that they really belong together.

Despite all of the pitfalls of this film, I will admit that there are a few points that do always make me giggle a little (i.e. "This was my brother's parents hated my brother."), so I guess that's a credit to the quality of some of the jokes.

All in all, I would say this is a film worth watching at least once in your life, but I wouldn't recommend buying the DVD or paying for it in a theater.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Not funny...

Author: bjerho from Stockholm, Sweden
16 October 2002

This movie is about a guy named LongFellow Deeds(Adam Sandler) who inherits 40 billion dollars from his late uncle. He goes to New York to collect the money and a news reporter(Winona Ryder) want's his story(in order to keep her job). From this point it gets very silly. Adam Sandler wasn't as funny as he usually is. The story (actually a remake) is very boring and most of the jokes are old. The only actor who made me laugh was John Turturro. He plays a spanish butler with a twisted passion for feet. If you liked him in "The Big Lebowski"(as Jesus Quintana) then maybe this is a movie for you. I give this movie a 3/10.

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6 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Typical Sandler fare, few laughs

Author: radrobd from California
1 July 2002

Hmm... it seems I've seen this movie already, not because its a remake of an old Frank Capra movie, but because it's basically the same old Adam Sandler schtick for 2 hours. The only difference is this time it isn't very funny. Basically, a variation on a Sandler plot- idiot savant gets filthy rich but maintains his goofy (and humorless) innocence. The Sandler persona wears thin about 5 minutes into the movie and basically that's it. You're stuck with a mediocre movie that a chimp could have produced. The one I truly feel sorry for is Winona- first her shoplifting debacle and now this. My Personal Opinion: Avoid this movie at all costs.

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7 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

The All-Time Worst Re-Make of a Classic Film

Author: ( from United States
16 March 2008

This Adam Sandler vehicle is a re-make of a classic Frank Capra movie which originally starred Gary Cooper and Jean Arthur. Capra won his second Academy Award for Best Director for the 1936 classic. Gary Cooper received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor for his sincere portrayal of a simple man thrust into extraordinary circumstances. As in many of Capra's films, Cooper's character, guided by a genuine moral center and sense of compassion for those struggling through difficult economic times (the Great Depression), fights against the shallow, the insincere, and the corrupt.

This 2002 version of Mr. Deeds, directed by Steven Brill, possesses none of the charm or drama of the original. The task of updating Robert Riskin's and Clarence Kelland's Oscar-nominated script went to Timothy P. Herlihy, who received his professional break as a staff writer on "Saturday Night Live." The Oscar-winning Riskin also authored such acclaimed screenplays as "Lost Horizon," "It Happened One Night," "You Can't Take It With You," and "The Strange Love of Martha Ivers." In contrast, Herlihy has no non-Adam Sandler big-screen credits, having penned or co-authored the screenplays for "Billy Madison," "Happy Gilmour," "The Wedding Singer," "The Waterboy," "Little Nicky," and "Big Daddy." Herlihy's unfunny adaptation of the original script is therefore not surprising. Unfortunately, the direction, the script and Sandler's performance all make Longfellow Deeds' character look shallow and the character's transformation into compassionate philanthropist seems contrived. The result of this collaboration is a film which is fundamentally insincere and lacking any charm.

Do yourself a favor, and rent the DVD of the original 1936 film, and you'll see why Frank Capra and Gary Cooper were, respectively, among the greatest American directors and actors of the 20th Century.

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