Ah, the early 2000s, when cargo pants were all the rage, and Adam Sandler movies were… well, also all the rage. It was a simpler time when we were blissfully unaware of the impending doom of 2020s. In those days, Sandler was still honing his craft as a comedian and actor, and Mr. Deeds is one of his films that takes us on a journey back to a time when Adam Sandler was just slightly less predictable than the changing seasons.
How to Download Mr. Deeds
Mr. Deeds was released on June 28, 2002. You can download or stream the film from a digital platform. Click on the Download button at the end of this review and make your choice. If you like Adam Sandler, check him out in Uncut Gems.
The Movie Review
Mr. Deeds is basically the rags-to-riches story on steroids. Longfellow Deeds is a small-town guy who inherits a bazillion dollars and moves to the big city. Sounds like every other Sandler movie ever? Well, you’re not wrong, but let’s keep going! Longfellow Deeds’ new life in the city is like a carnival ride through a tornado. He meets Winona Ryder’s character, Babe, who’s not your typical damsel in distress.
She’s a tabloid journalist trying to dig up dirt on our boy Deeds. Hijinks and hilarity ensue as Deeds tries to navigate the treacherous waters of high society with his happy-go-lucky attitude.
Alright, the screenplay is a mixed bag. The humor is pure Sandler, and if you’re a fan of his goofy antics, you’ll find some chuckles here. He’s gonna make lots of jokes in the movie, prank people every once in a while and do his signature laugh.
However, there are moments where the dialogue feels forced, like the screenwriters were trying to cram in as many one-liners as possible. They do succeed at times, but majority of the hours, it’s basically impossible to make some of this stuff work.
Direction and Performance Dynamics
Steven Brill has always been a goofball when it comes to his films, and Mr. Deeds is no exception. He works really well with Sandler’s style, but this time around he threw Sandler into a blender with a handful of slapstick, a dash of rom-com, and a pinch of heartwarming drama.
This is a formula that he found to be effective for a bunch of his films in the future too. In the case of Mr. Deeds, the result isn’t exactly a smoothie, it’s more like a comedy casserole – all the ingredients are there, but they don’t always blend together perfectly.
The Cast’s Chemistry
Sandler is, well, Sandler. He’s not exactly stretching his acting chops in this one, but he delivers the kind of comedic performance we’ve come to expect. Winona Ryder, on the other hand, is a spark that becomes a great addition to the film. She adds a touch of class and charm, even if the script occasionally lets her down. Supporting cast members like John Turturro and Peter Gallagher do their best to keep the laughs coming.
Oh… and yeah, Steve Buscemi is there, do with that information what you will.
Cinematography and Soundtrack
Mr. Deeds doesn’t reinvent the wheel when it comes to cinematography. It’s got that early 2000s sheen, complete with some cringe-worthy visual effects. But hey, it’s a comedy, not an art film. The production values are decent, though the wealth portrayed here often feels a bit cartoonish, like, Richie Rich levels of cartoonish. That was the point, though, so it works for sure.
Finally, on the topic of the soundtrack for this film, there’s nothing but bangers on this list. Of course, the original soundtrack composed for the film is pretty darn bland. However, I have to give a shoutout to the track listing for this movie.
It’s a quirky mix of classic rock and pop hits, and it adds a fun layer of nostalgia to the film. It’s no game-changer, and it won’t be topping your Spotify playlists anytime soon.
Verdict: The Comfort of Nostalgia
I’ve seen Mr. Deeds many times throughout my lifetime, I’ve seen it as a kid, I’ve seen it as a tween, a teen and an an adult. This is a film that relies on its power to be rewatched, it’s funny, it’s silly, it’s completely non-serious in every single way but it manages to touch your heart in some ways.
It’s not a good film by any technical aspects, it does not have sharp writing or a cleverly unique plot, nor does it have groundbreaking direction or camera work, but it’s a film that you can always rely on to make you chuckle.
- Adam Sandler's signature goofy humor
- Nostalgic early 2000s vibes
- A charming performance by Winona Ryder
- Formulaic, predictable storyline
- Some forced and cringe-worthy dialogue
- Visually pale, barely any depth
- Not a groundbreaking comedy by any means