While in his teens, Donny fathered a son, Todd, and raised him as a single parent up until Todd's 18th birthday. Now, after not seeing each other for years, Todd's world comes crashing down when Donny resurfaces just before Todd's wedding.
Zohan Dvir works as a Special Agent and lives with his orthodox parents in Israel. He wants to give up this life full of dangerous encounters with Palestinians. While in the process of apprehending a Palestinian activist known simply as the Phantom, he fakes his death, hides in a dog-kennel on a plane bound for New York, and decides to try his hand as a hair-stylist. He is refused employment initially, but when he offers to work for free, Dahlia hires him as a cleaner. When a hair-stylist named Debbie quits, Zohan replaces her, winning over elderly female clientèle, and falling in love with Dahlia herself. Before Zohan could propose to her, Dahlia's landlord, Walbridge, who has been raising rents regularly, hires skinhead goons to terrorize the neighborhood, creates misunderstandings between Jews, Muslims, Arabs, and Palestinians, and drives them out, so as to enable him to construct a new building which is topped by a roller coaster. When Zohan decides to confront these skinheads, he... Written by
(at around 1h 15 mins) When Salim calls The Phantom to tell him about the Zohan being in US, he dials a very long phone number using a regular wireless telephone, yet he sends a picture using a cell phone. See more »
While I've never been a -huge- fan of Adam Sandler's films, I have watched them and laughed throughout most of them. I'm the type of guy who enjoys some slapstick, some raunchy humor, and a lot of zanyness.
I went into Zohan not expecting anything but pure frivolous humor. You don't go into films like this with any expectations, and I think that's where a lot of the reviewers prior to myself went wrong. They went in expecting to see an evolution of Sandler's humor, and while I would say that Zohan raised the bar a tad, it's still Adam Sandler. Yes, it's going to have a corny ending, a lot of physical humor, and a healthy dose of humor aimed at the more intelligent in the crowd as well.
Overall, I couldn't stop giggling, laughing, and chuckling throughout most of the film. After a long streak of not seeing any humor films, I thought it was the perfect thing to bring me back to comedies. The last few years, especially, have been incredibly lackluster in regards to comedies (if that's what evolution of the genre is, count me out, by the way), and I found Zohan refreshing.
I think another thing a lot of the other reviewers missed, is that the film in no way expected to take itself seriously. The only serious moments were cheesy, predictable, and ultimately corny, which is irony in itself and only contributed to my bemused chuckling. Yes, a lot of the humor bordered on racial stereotyping, there were a lot of over-the-top accents and allusions to the Middle East, so if you're the type to get touchy about that, feel free to skip. I found it to be a rather hilarious joke on the seriousness that everybody applies to the stereotyping. The stereotyping is, actually, rather fair and towards the end even shows plenty of "good stereotyping" (as accurate as stereotyping ever is, which is to say, rarely).
Really, the film laughs at itself. Are there some bum moments? Certainly, but it seems that's been the case for almost every film I've seen in the last few years, but it was grand seeing the cast and crew not try to make this the 'next great comedy' and just have a buttload of fun.
And if the cast and crew are laughing at themselves (which you can clearly feel through the screen), you can't help but laugh with them.
If you want to spend an hour or two snickering and have an open mind, give Zohan a shot. Don't expect an evolution of comedy. Don't expect the bar to be raised, because that's not what this film was trying to do. It was trying to be ridiculous and make people utter that ever so fantastic groaning-giggle followed by the heart chuckle.
Don't let the other critics fool you, they've probably forgotten the meaning of the word 'satire'.
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