Related Articles: Movies, All

Eight Crazy Nights

Animated Sandler for the Holidays

The holidays are here, and with them come the classic programming: Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, etc... But will Adam Sandler's 8 Crazy Nights, the mega-comedian's holiday effort, be around for holiday seasons to come?

One of the remarkable things about Sandler, the pied piper of meathead humor, is his ability to constantly re-package himself. Same product, different package - and they all make lots and lots of money. He's always playing a sensitive guy stuck inside of a rough-and-tumble, potty-mouthed exoskeleton. Once that veneer is broken through, the real Sandler gets to shine in all his philanthropic glory. Although this one's animated, Adam Sandler's 8 Crazy Nights is no exception.

The tale begins with an emotionally bankrupt cartoon Sandler, aka Davey Stone, pounding back scorpion bowls at a nameless New England Chinese joint. Dooksbury, the setting of this holiday parable, is lodged somewhere in between Maine and Massachusetts. It's a town long torn by the rage-fueled antics of Mr. Stone, a thirty-three year old Jew who hates Christmas and Chanukah with equal ferocity.

Am I actually trying to review this as though it's a real film? God help me. And God help me for laughing hysterically upon witnessing a herd of cartoon reindeer shit themselves and the pure white snow beneath them when a joke hits them particularly well. That, in a nutshell, is the charm of this movie. There's cartoon shit everywhere! If fecal comedy isn't your cup of joe, you'd be wise to stay away.

But back to the plot.

After a long chase scene to begin the movie, Davey Stone is arrested by the yokel cops and sent before the judge, who happens to have a great Masshole accent. The judge has had it up to his cartoon eyeballs with Stone's surly personality, and he's about to hand out a ten year sentence when good old Whitey (also the voice of Sandler) stands up. Whitey has been a referee with the youth basketball league in Dooksbury for eons, and since Stone used to be a hell of a jump shooter, Whitey knows he must be a good kid. Whitey pleads with the judge to let Stone's punishment consist of refereeing kids' hoops games.

In a bastardization of the legal process that can only be found in poorly conceived movie plots, the judge grants Whitey's request.

Of course, Davey Stone doesn't appreciate the help Whitey's giving him. And we don't really know why he's so damn salty until later it is revealed that his parents were killed in a car crash on Chanukah back when Stone was a doe-eyed, cheery twelve year old. Slowly, however, Whitey and the rest of the people of Dooksbury turn Stone's frown upside down, until finally he's a card-carrying member of the Happy Coalition. Well, maybe it doesn't go that far. But the spirit of the holidays is ultimately not lost on Davey Stone.

Did I mention this is a musical? Yes. Sure, some of Sandler's lyrics are funny, but so were Weird Al's. It's not the lyrics that kill, it's the horrible singing. And Whitey's voice is extremely annoying. However, Whitey's sister Eleanore (once again the voice Sandler, this time getting close to his Fatty McGee roots) balances out the annoyance factor. She may be the best character in the production.

Basically, this is a cartoon for Sandler fans only, and I'd wager that the corny plot and bevy of showtunes will alienate some of the most hardcore fans. You know the type, they've seen Billy Madison fifty times and won't admit that Little Nicky was awful. There are some classic Sandlerisms in 8 Crazy Nights, but in the end, those won't cut the mustard for the average moviegoer.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Eight Crazy Nights
PG-13
1 hour 11 minutes

Adam Sandler
Jackie Titone
Jon Lovitz
Kevin Nealon
Rob Schneider

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~