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Adam Sandler, Winona Ryder, Steve Buscemi, Peter Gallagher, Jared Harris

Directed by: Steven Brill
Written by: Tim Herlihy, Clarence Budington Kelland, Robert Riskin
Produced by: Sidney Ganis, Jack Giarraputo
Distributor: Columbia Pictures

US: 28/06/02 UK: 01/11/02

In this homage to the 1936 Frank Capra classic MR. DEEDS GOES TO TOWN, Adam Sandler plays Mr. Deeds, a young man from the small town of Mandrake Falls, NH who inherits controlling interest in a massive media corporation from his deceased uncle. He then starts injecting his small town values into its various businesses.
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"Hey Winona, thanks for buying me a new sweatshirt"
"No probs Adam. It was a steal!"

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Take one Frank Capra classic and morph it into an Adam Sandler movie and this is what you get. A very stupid film that's almost watchable but doesn't really have any reason to exist. Sandler plays Longfellow Deeds, the long-lost heir to a $40 billion media empire. Of course, his rural New Hampshire ethos is a scream in New York, where the company's CEO (Gallagher) plans to take over the business, a Spanish butler (Turturro) befriends him, a tabloid hack (Ryder) falls for him, and so on. Of course, his innate goodness wins the day.

Ho hum! At least it's better than the typical Adam Sandler movie for a few reasons. There's the source material--the story is actually quite charming and sweet, if far too familiar now. There's also the fact that Sandler plays the role like a normal person--no mental slowness, no lame accent. And also we have that superior supporting cast--although Ryder should really think about retiring if she can't even be remotely convincing in rubbish like this. It's bright and colourful and adequately directed by Brill, although the set design is ludicrous and the film resorts far too often to gross-out gags for the laughs (guess again). While there are random moments of humour or sweetness, the film just isn't funny or warm or romantic enough to work on any level at all. It just flits across the screen with no meaning at all, then vanishes from your mind the second the lights come up. Yawn! Now where were we...?



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