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Jun 13, 2008

Fletch's Film Review: You Don't Mess With the Zohan

An unconventional movie gets an unconventional review. Today, let's play a round of "It's funny that..." or "It's not funny that..." No, I haven't done this before, and yes, you'll get it quickly.

It's funny that...coming off two SNL-flavored posts this week, I should happen to go see Zohan Thursday night.

It's not funny that...the movie relies on a few of the same running gags for nearly all of its two hours. We get it, Zohan is well endowed and enjoys hummus.

It's funny that...Sandler gets so many cameos for his movies. The list is growing, and getting more creative. Sure, there's old standbys like Chris Rock and Kevin Nealon and John Farley (Chris's brother), and there's the old drunk guy from Big Daddy, but the new faces, from Mariah Carey to George Takei, really add some laughs.

It's not funny that...Emmanuelle Chiriqui sucks at accents. Who'd have ever thought that Adam Sandler and Rob Schneider would be seen as experts in the goofy accent field? Chiriqui sounded like a high school drama student in a production of Arabian Nights or something.

It's simultaneously funny and not funny that...John Turturro and Rob Schneider are playing Palestinians here. History shows us Charlie Chan as an example of a character played by white actors that offended many, yet Turturro and Schneider have each made a career out of playing multiple ethnicities, together playing anything from Jewish to Mexican to Hawaiian to Chinese to Palestinian - it'd be offensive if it weren't so impressive, as each is usually dedicated to the role and avoids caricature where possible.

It's funny that...Adam Sandler has ever gotten pegged for being immature. Well, let me explain. Yes, of course, Sandler and his films are immature - I mean, I just derided the movie for going overboard with the penis jokes. But, at their core, they couldn't be tamer or more well-meaning. Looking back at a sampling of his films, we can see neon lights flashing the morals to each of them:

* Billy Madison: Don't drink. Go to school. Act your age.
* Happy Gilmore: Accept your fate. Learn something new. Don't be a quitter.
* Big Daddy: Grow up. Get a job. Care about someone other than yourself.
* Little Nicky: Don't judge a book by its cover. David vs. Goliath.

You Don't Mess With the Zohan is no different: Follow your dreams. Love thy neighbor. F*ck thy senior citizen.

Fletch's Film Rating:

"You seem a decent fellow. I hate to kill you."

11 people have chosen wisely: on "Fletch's Film Review: You Don't Mess With the Zohan"

Nick said...

lol, yup! I said the exact same things about the penis and hummus jokes. And I also picked up on in this movie Sandler's good morals in his movies.

It seems we saw eye-to-eye on this one. We both even gave it the same score equivalent.

Patricia Perry said...

I actually laughed at every single hummus gag. Maybe I just don't get out enough....

"Zohan" was silly, but totally enjoyable.

Anonymous said...

I decided a month ago that I was going see either the Zohan, or Love Guru. I really think Sandler and Myers are 2 of the funniest movie makers of our time, but both of these movies kept looking worse to me as I saw more trailers.

I think based on your review I'll skip this one and I'll probably enjoy it more on cable and not spending $10 to see it. Keep up the good work!

Daniel said...

I'll admit that Sandler himself might be more mature than his characters, but sometimes the movies (as in Zohan's case) are so insanely immature that they overshadow the "moral." Whatever, Adam Sandler movies aren't what guide my philosophies in life, but I just thought Zohan could have been a little more college and a little less high school.

Ms☆Go said...

You know?

You're the second person to say this isn't bad.

...But I still don't want to see it, right now.

This one's for the Netflix cue.

Fox said...

I like your summation at the end. I had thought about the running fascination with older people. Thinking about it now it seems obvious, but really, it escaped me.

PIPER said...

The kick in the face makes me laugh. I doubt anything else will. I'll watch Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore instead.

THN said...

What about Longest Yard?

Fletch said...

@ monkeyface - why see either? Neither this nor Guru looked all that great (if watchable).

@ Dan - Sandler movies should totally guide your philosophies in life. You're really missing out. ;)

@ DC Girl - well, I'm not exactly giving it a thumbs up, but it has its moments. Mostly, I just sat there knowing that when it pops up on cable, I'll be re-watching it, no matter how bad it is. Just like I do with Little Nicky and 50 First Dates and...

@ Adam - Longest Yard didn't do much for me. Wasn't bad, just wasn't great, either. Maybe Sandler should have gotten himself in shape for that like he did for Zohan. Might've made playing a stud QB more believable. Fichtner's in it, though, and he rocks.

THN said...

I'm not afraid to admit this, but I remember watching Fitchner in As The World Turns when I was in high school. He was the goods back then. What do you suppose his best role has been? Armagedon?

Fletch said...


No, I'm not laughing at you. Fact is, when I was a kid, my mom watched As the World Turns and Young and the Restless, so I recognize people from those shows all the time. I think she still refers to Fichtner as "Lilly's rapist father" or something like that.

Ha - Armageddon. His best role has been Go, for sure. It kills me to just think of the look he gets on his face when Jay Mohr lets the word "Amway" escape from his lips.