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Mr. Deeds (2002 – PG-13)

April 9, 2009

Originally posted on December 12, 2003


Story

A simple, honest, and good-hearted man is discovered to be the single heir of a media billionaire’s empire.  After bringing him to the city, he falls in love with a woman that turns out to be an investigative reporter who is merely trying to get an inside story.  By the end, however, she genuinely falls in love with him.  Is it too late?

Somehow, this seems a more plausible story when it was originally done by Capra in Mr. Deeds Goes to Town.  Unfortunately the original sucked bad.  Which is really hard to believe, because not only was it directed by my favorite movie-maker Frank Capra, but it also starred Jean Arthur, my favorite actress.  So why did it suck?  Two words, Gary Cooper.  He is about a stale as an actor as you can find.  Thoroughly uncharismatic.

So, even with that said, it gets a fairly substantial score.

Story = 16

Cast

Adam Sandler, Winona Ryder, John Turturro, Allen Covert, Peter Gallagher, Jared Harris, Erick Avari, Peter Dante, Conchata Ferrell, Harve Presnell, Steve Buscemi, Blake Clark, John McEnroe, Al Sharpton, and Rob Schneider.  I love to see previous characters return as is the case with Schneider.  John Turturro is amazing, and is the best part of this movie.  I also like Erick Avari and his role.  Winona ain’t too hard on the eyes either.

Cast = 20

Soundtrack/Score

This is perhaps the worst Sandler soundtrack to date.  It is entirely forgettable as for interaction within the movie.  The only song I can specifically recall is Bowie’s “Space Oddity,” and its usage was not only well integrated, but developed into a funny scene.

Soundtrack/Score = 12

Catch Phrase: “Very sneaky.”  “Can I massage your feet?”  Again, not the greatest quote film among the Sandler offerings, but yet fairly solid.

Quote/Catch Phrase = 14

Rewatchability

This movie is a remake, and adaptation of a Capra film.  They blasphemed, and normally I would be appalled at merely the suggestion, however in this case it’s not only tolerable but welcome.  I do not know what kind of pot Capra was smoking when he got Gary Cooper for the lead.  I have seen more exciting curling matches than Gary Cooper’s performance.  Just think how much different the film would have been with Jimmy Stewart or Cary Grant as the lead.  This was certainly a vast improvement in all ways except for the leading lady.  Don’t get me wrong, I love Winona Ryder, and I think she did a good job in this film, but you can’t replace Jean Arthur.

If you are a fan of the first, or even if you just saw the original film, then you should certainly check this version out.  Compound that with a Sandler fanatic, and you got yourself a decent score.  Although, I wonder what this film would have been like with a more faithful rendering of the original and a more versatile male lead, perhaps like Jim Carrey.  The world may never know.

Rewatchability = 16

Total Score = 78

I am not sure if this film really deserves a score quite that low, but them’s the rules.

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