What's Money Got To Do With It?

Given that this is a film starring Adam Sandler, and not written or directed by someone like P.T. Anderson, nobody's expecting a depth of character, theme, or the like. What are our expectations this time around?

Sandler is Deeds, as his friends call him. This good natured fellow is the only living relative of moneybags Preston Blake, and consequently stands to inherit a huge stake in his corporate behemoth. He is located, brought to New York, and has a series of good-guy/bad-establishment encounters that seem right out of The Hudsucker Proxy, but toned down for maximum accessibility. There's a bad guy, who wants to be Deeds' shares for $40,000,000,000 and then dismantle the company, putting 50,000 people out of business - that's the first and biggest "huh?" in the movie. If you have that much money - in a liquid form - this doesn't even make sense from a heartless, greedy bastard point of view.

There's also the reporter/pretend-small-town-girl love interest (this part really begs the Hudsucker Proxy question). Alas, for all I may want to blame this movie for stealing from one of my personal favorites, more likely Proxy lifted the idea from the original Mr. Deeds Goes To Town. Yet is anything more derivative than a remake? Regardless, Winona Ryder fills in more than capably in this underwhelming role.

Ryder is not the only out of place actor here. John Turturro, a man of many, many superb performances, is a singularly stereotyped personal valet. There's also Steve Buscemi as a man whose eyes are fixed impossibly outward - but Buscemi's role choices have occasionally suggested an interest in quantity over quality.

I don't see any point that this movie is trying to make. The whole you-should-be-good-to-people thing has been done to death, and nothing new is done here. No plot points really come as a surprise. The movie therefore becomes a showcase for Sandler's talents, but we are in the unusual position of having the character hold him back. I won't turn you away if you're a Sandler fan, but otherwise, I have nothing much to say for this one.

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