A consistently intelligent (or at least bright), coherently constructed comedy that is on occasion a rather pointed critique of the American education system in the…
I've met Adam Sandler a couple of times and he's a nice guy, smart and personable. Considering what I've written about his movies, he could also be described as forgiving and tactful. What I cannot understand is why he has devoted his career to finding new kinds of obnoxious voices and the characters to go along with them.
Consider Nicky, the star of his new film, "Little Nicky." Nicky may be the spawn of Satan, but his two brothers, Cassius (Tommy "Tiny" Lister Jr.) and Adrian (Rhys Ifans), are reasonably presentable. Nicky, on the other hand, looks like the star of a low-rent road company version of "Richard III," has a face twisted out of plumb (one of his brothers socked him in the head with a shovel) and speaks in yet another bizarre Sandler voice--sort of a mush-mouthed lisping whine.
Thinking back over the movie, I'm not sure why. Nicky is an intriguing comic character, whose appeal doesn't depend on how he talks or looks--Sandler's contributions, indeed, detract from the character. I try to imagine the movie with Nicky played as a more ordinary guy, and I think it would benefit (hundreds of millions of dollars of Sandler box-office grosses suggest I could be wrong).
Anthony Hopkins talks about how he needs to find a character's "mask" before he can play him. Many actors find it painful to play themselves, and are comfortable only after they find the right mask or persona to occupy. Is it that way with Sandler? I dunno, but for his next movie I suggest a mask that allows him to play an adult, instead of an infantile grotesque.