Reviewed by: Ryan Izay
Starring: Adam Sandler, Winona Ryder, Steve Buscemi, Peter Gallagher, Jared Harris | Directed by: Steven Brill | Produced by: Sidney Ganis, Jack Giarraputo | Written by: Tim Herlihy, Clarence Budington Kelland, Robert Riskin | Distributor: Columbia Pictures
For those who have had the pleasure of watching Mr. Deeds Goes To Town, a Frank Capra classic, you may find that this Sandler remake/homage possesses all the heart of a Capra film. The characters are likeable and fun just as they were in the original. Unfortunately, many believe that the film genre today is past the point where that is enough to satisfy an audience. So many today will not sit through a charming, clever film without the mandatory toilet humor. Especially if the film stars Adam Sandler. (Though results from Dr. Ted Baehr’s of Movieguide seem to indicate otherwise). So, what could easily have been a fun family film was turned into something best viewed by teenagers who find a man soaping his butt funny.
Mr. Deeds is the classic fish out of water story. An extremely nice man from a small town finds himself the only heir of a fortune and must go into the big city for the first time in his life. He then proceeds to teach everyone a lesson in manners, often with his fists. Some decent date material also comes out of this film thanks to the presence of Winona Ryder, a reporter who pretends to be the girl next door in order to get a story out of Deeds.
It’s always refreshing to see a movie that has a good message to it, even if it must use bathroom humor along the way. Mr. Deeds does have a good message and is much cleaner than any of Sandler’s other films, but it still might be a good idea not to take any children under 12 to see this one. Even then it depends on the viewer. There is the presence of some objectionable language (“…5 sexual references, 16 scatological terms, 13 anatomical terms, 18 mild obscenities, 5 religious exclamations…” according to Kids-in-Mind), some non-sexual nudity, cleavage, and sexual innuendo. The only other thing to worry about is the violence, but it never goes beyond what could be seen in such PG films as “Home Alone.”