Mr. Deeds is a 2002 remake of the Frank Capra
classic Mr. Deeds Goes to Town
, starring Adam Sandler
and Winona Ryder
. It was released in June 2002 by New Line Cinema
and Columbia Pictures
. The soundtrack
is available on RCA Records
82-year old Preston Blake (Harve Presnell) is a successful man; he's built a few minor radio stations into a multinational media empire worth $40 billion, including ownership of the New York Jets. During a bid to become the oldest man to scale Mount Everest, Blake dies (after reaching the summit) without issue.
A worldwide search uncovers Blake's closest living relative and heir, Longfellow Deeds. Deeds lives a simple life in Mandrake Falls, NH...running his pizzeria, writing awkward-sounding greeting cards and being a likeable schlub. (Adam Sandler playing a likeable schlub? Never!) Deeds is contacted by two executives from Blake Media, Chuck Cedar (Peter Gallagher) and Cecil Anderson (Erick Avari) and is brought to New York City to cash out his 300 million-some odd shares.
Deeds, for all his good intentions, gets himself into trouble shortly after arriving in New York. He's caught on film getting shitfaced with tennis badboy John McEnroe and starting a fistfight with a reknown opera singer. All of this is recorded surreptitiously by Deeds' new girlfriend, Pam Dawson, who is actually a tabloid TV show producer named Babe Barrett (Ryder). Barrett's boss, "Inside Access" executive producer and host Mac McGrath (Jared Harris).
ABANDON HOPE ALL YE WHO PASS THIS POINT, FOR SPOILERS FOLLOW
or something like that
Even though he befriends many during his stay in New York (including Anderson, servant Emilio (John Turturro) and elevator operator Reuben (J.B Smoove), Deeds doesn't realize that he's being played. On top of Pam/Babe using Deeds to further her career, Cedar plans to disassemble Blake Media after assuming control. Poor Deedsy, the schlub.
On the night he plans to propose to Pam, he discovers her true identity while watching Inside Access. After completing the sale, a heartbroken Deeds donates his $40 billion to the United Negro College Fund and returns to Mandrake Falls.
Of course, there's a happy ending...but you'll have to rent the DVD to see it. Either that or download a copy from one of the many p2p networks. My copy has Bahasa Indonesia subtitles.
Abridged cast and crew:
Adam Sandler Longfellow Deeds
Winona Ryder Babe Bennett/Pam Dawson
John Turturro Emilio Lopez
Steve Buscemi Crazy Eyes
Jared Harris Mac McGrath
Peter Gallagher Chuck Cedar
Allen Covert Marty
Conchata Ferrell Jan
Roark Critchlow William
Peter Dante Murph
J.B. Smoove Reuben
Erick Avari Cecil Anderson
Derek Hughes Waiter
Gideon Jacobs Jimmy
Harve Presnell Preston Blake
Brandon Molale Kevin Ward
John McEnroe Himself
Rob Schneider Nazo (The Delivery Guy)
Al Sharpton Himself
Joseph M. Caracciolo Executive Producer
Adam Sandler Executive Producer
Sidney Ganis Producer
Jack Giarraputo Producer
Alex Siskin Co-Producer
Allen Covert Associate Producer
Clarence Budington Kelland (short story Opera Hat)
Robert Riskin (the film Mr. Deeds Goes to Town)
Tim Herlihy (screenplay)
As you can see, the usual Sandler cronies are present: Brill (four Sandler movies), Herlihy (seven, with an eighth on the way), Buscemi (four), Covert (eight, with two more in the coming year) and Giarraputo (soon to be eleven). Rob Schneider movies The Animal and Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo both credit Sandler as an executive producer, and can be counted as Adam Sandler movies. It's no surprise to find that this film follows the typical arc found in nearly every Adam Sandler movie: loveable schlub with untapped talent overcomes his tragic flaw to find success and true love.
Sandler has this act down pat, he's played similar characters before. He does show more depth -- and dare I say, more heart -- here than in his previous work. Maybe it's the Capra rubbing off on this film, but there's a notable lack to toilet humor here. Turturro and Harris, both gleefully overacting their asses off, are fun to watch. Scenes with Ryder, particularly "romantic" interludes with Sandler, seem forced at times. I'm not sure if jaded New York TV producers typically look like they're constipated. Remind me to call NBC on that one, okay?
I suppose I should end this write-up with some sort of arbitrary rating. I've seen the movie twice, thus Mr. Deeds gets two ratings:
In the theater - 6 1/2 filled in squares (out of 12)
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At my computer, in 2-part AVI format, with Bahasa Indonesia subtitles - 7 1/2 filled in squares
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Mr. Deeds (official site) - http://www.sonypictures.com/movies/mrdeeds/
the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) - http://us.imdb.com/Title?0280590