Why Little Nicky Is Adam Sandler’s Most Creative Movie

Come in early Adam Sandlers career that SNL-Breakout-turned-comedy-megastar showed a habit of chasing movies that could well be called “grown up” — at least by the very lax standards of the man who gave the world Canteen Boy — with films that were unapologetically goofy and youthful were . Sandler showed us the first signs of his pathos and innate sensitivity when he played an emotionally unpredictable wedding singer in 1998 The Wedding Singer; This meant that the Sandman had no choice but to resort to his silliest tendencies in the sequel to this film, namely the happily nonsensical football farce The Waterboy.

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big dad, of course, exists as the intriguing alchemy of Sandler’s two forked artistic halves. Yes, the film is technically a rough studio comedy, packed with jokes about public urination, slapstick violence, and a handful of woefully outdated gay panic bits. However, Dennis Dugan‘s film can also be read as a deceptively insightful study of the conscious effort we all make as adults to grow out of the flaws that have held us back since our youth. Since big dad While it undoubtedly fell on the more developed end of the Sandler spectrum when it was released in 1999, it stood to reason that the sequel to this blockbuster would inevitably be Sandler’s most childish offering yet. Right?

RELATED: The best Adam Sandler comedies ranked from ‘Little Nicky’ to ‘The Wedding Singer’


Critics didn’t like Little Nicky

Little Nicki isn’t, even by the standards of an Adam Sandler feature film, a film that most critics find too good, and that’s being polite about it. Except for Roger Ebert – who gave the film two and a half stars, which erred on the generous side of the late critic’s general opinion of Sandler, considering Ebert gave such a thing The Wedding Singer and The Waterboy one star for each – critics seemed to resent the film’s existence.

But here’s the thing: Little Nicki is funny. Most of the time — and with the caveat that you turn off your brain within the first five minutes that Sandler’s sidekick is prominently featured Jon Lovitz as a giggling, tree-dwelling deviant known only as The Peeper – Little Nicki it’s really, really funny. More than that, Little Nicki is truly creative: The fact that Sandler and his collaborators went to great lengths and painstaking efforts to bring this absolutely insane conceit to fruition after a string of surefire blockbusters means this hellish, stoner-friendly fantasy comedy ends up being so much more entertaining , than its radioactively critical reputation would suggest.

Little Nicky remains an outlier in Sandler’s filmography

Little Nicki remains an anomaly in Sandler’s filmography in that it stands entirely outside of the successful, more or less traditional, narrative blueprint he has carved out over more than three decades as one of Hollywood’s most successful and unexpected leading actors. In most Adam Sandler comedies, our star plays an average or sort of ordinary guy – you think Anger management, click, Just join us, etc. – which is forced into an inherently illogical and therefore ridiculous comedic scenario. There are exceptions, of course, like when Sandler plays one of his pure-hearted, obscure small-town weirdos (Hubie Halloween and The Waterboy are the two most prominent examples). Yet even in those two hits above, Sandler still plays an absurd comic creation in a world that’s still more or less recognizable as our own. Hubie Dubois’ timid buffoonery is inherently amusing when contrasted with the suburban doziness of his hometown of Salem, Massachusetts, as is The Waterboy Speed ​​achieved by placing a classic Jerry Lewis stammering nerd archetype into an otherwise familiar sports redemption story.

Little Nicki stands out from all these films because even as the film transitions from an artfully realized vision of hell to 2000s-era New York, the shift isn’t as palpable as one might think. in the Little Nickihell is a sprawling, fiery wasteland (according to a behind-the-scenes doc included on the original DVD specials for Little Nickidirector Steven Brillplus Sandler and co-author Tim Herlihy, reportedly used the infernal paintings of Hieronymus Bosch as inspiration for her film’s central landscape), where huge, horny birds roam free and Adolf Hitler is ritually punished in a manner so heinous we can’t even reprint it here ( a note to those who have seen the film: it’s about pineapples). The Gatekeeper Resident in Hell (Kevin Nelson) has a pair of boobs attached to his head, and hey, huh? Rodney Dangerfield play a robed version of Lucifer?

Little Nicky goes to some wild places

Sandler is often accused of laziness, but in depicting a gloriously unreal vision of Hell, Little Nicki goes to some wild places. One of the movie’s better jokes is that Hell ends up not being much different than the Big Apple: They simply replace big, horny birds with a talking bulldog named Mr. Beefy (sneeringly voiced by a regular Sandler employee). Robert Smigel) and the various horned minions of the underworld for a blind, utterly insane street preacher played with fearless enthusiasm by the filmmaker Quentin Tarantino.

Sandler’s unfair and reductive line has become that he is now putting out assembly-line versions of low-stakes, low-concept, low-brow comedy (see a pattern here?) designed essentially as excuses for him, his family, and his… Friends serve to take paid vacation and shoot a movie while they happen to be there. Aside from the fact that this way of thinking is both unfair, reductive and ridiculous, the critique falls apart while watching Little Nicki and realizes that as shameless as the sense of humor, the film is perhaps the most visually and conceptually ambitious film ever helmed by one of our favorite contemporary comedy stars.

Perhaps the notion that Adam Sandler somehow convinced New Line Cinema to fund more than $80 million for a film starring the BillyMadison Feces on the street, gets addicted to Popeye’s Chicken, and tells about his love interest (Patricia Arquettea good sport) that he would like to have and I quote: “wash up his winky [her] kitchen sinks‘, and then treated the resulting film with a meticulous, imaginative care almost unheard of in broad studio comedy. It’s roughly the equivalent of spending a million dollars making a simple fart joke. Maybe the mindset of Little Nickys The critics went something like this: if Sandler had access to all the top-notch special effects and handy location geniuses that Hollywood money could make, then why…why bother going through all the trouble to do it? This Movie?

sure, Little Nicki deserves more than this line of punitive thinking. Sandler could have done literally anything he wanted after that big dad, and the fact that he decided to do this particular film says a lot about him as a comedian, as an artist, and as a person. As Sandler’s star vehicles grew more expensive (and, in the eyes of critics, more cynical), so did the insanely youthful purity that is so effortlessly captured Little Nicki seemed to drift away. Still, this gleefully ridiculous headbanger favorite will forever remain a homage to Sandler’s more off-kilter tendencies. love it or hate it Little Nicki is Adam Sandler’s most imaginative film.

https://collider.com/adam-sandler-little-nicky-most-creative-movie/ Why Little Nicky Is Adam Sandler’s Most Creative Movie

Sarah Ridley

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