Rote Sandler Comedy

Adam Sandler is one of those Saturday Night Live guys who is good at doing characters, but having moved on to movies, has issues in actually acting. I can't imagine what Paul Thomas Anderson does with him in the upcoming Punch Drunk Love.

So, Sandler confirms that he is the offspring of Satan in this semi-dramatized study of family dynamics. Father (Harvey Keitel) decides to hang onto his throne another ten thousand years, and the two stereotyped evil sons decide to have their fun anyway, leaving Nicky, the stupid and weak misfit kid, to deal with the situation.

It's a comedy, really, so we can't count on the script for a cohesive, sensible universe, and we don't really get one. If you like this one, it'll be for the jokes, pure and simple. There's a few good ones, but the interactions between people are so stereotyped, it's easy to be annoyed enough not to see them. There's even a bit part played by Quentin Tarantino that may be the least obtrusive he's ever done (a good thing).

Still, it aims low and pretty much hits its target. Don't go out of your way to see this one, though it's not so bad as to cause abdominal discomfort.

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