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).


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  

   Steven Brill
   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) 

My thoughts:
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) -
the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) -