It’s that time of year again. The time when lighted wreaths and candy canes put the spirit of the holidays into everyone’s heart — and pack them all into the theaters with seasonal films. Adam Sandler’s new film, 8 Crazy Nights, is a lackluster attempt at mixing the comedian/actor’s brand of toilet humor with a rare inclusion of both Christmas and Hanukkah.
The film is about Davey Stone (who, in case you didn’t notice, is the cartoon portrayal unoriginally produced by Sandler’s veiled egotism) a late 20s alcoholic grinch who stopped celebrating Hanukkah and life altogether when he was a child after his parents died. The film is an account of a holiday season in which he runs out of chances with the law and runs into a childhood acquaintance, Whitey, and his nerdy sister, Eleanor, for help.
After fouling up time and time again, Davey struggles with letting anyone get close enough to help him with the past that he has never dealt with. Davey is eventually shown the error of his ways, which is par for the course in any holiday film — but this is the only holiday trait the film has to offer.
Besides a few scenes of the respective holiday symbols and a couple of lyrics in the movie’s songs, 8 Crazy Nights doesn’t have the slightest tinge of seasonal feel to it. Instead, Sandler turns the film — which could have been the basis for an long-overdue Hanukkah film — into a film chock-full of burping, farting and other gross-out comedy ploys.
The movie, which starts out with an abundance of cheap humor and one god-awful song, eventually turns into quite a funny film. Sandler’s trademark crude lyrics make for a few witty songs, and he even manages to throw in some backhandedly clever humor within the film’s storyline.
The biggest problem with the film, outside of the constant barrage of blatantly placed adverts, is the fact that this incredibly vulgar story seems to be marketed at a younger audience. The trailers on TV show an animated film all decked out in holiday cheer and equipped with plenty of cartoonish chuckles for the kiddies. Parents who bring their children to the theater will be surprised by the language and themes portrayed in 8 Crazy Nights.
This film could easily have been a regular live action Sandler feature — but not if he wants to make holiday money.
8 Crazy Nights may be a lot of things, but it isn’t for kids — and it sure isn’t for the holidays.
Contact Nick Margiasso at firstname.lastname@example.org