Originally published on Dec. 6, 2002:
If there's one thing worse than an Adam Sandler film, it's an ANIMATED
Adam Sandler film, and the newest Columbia release, "Eight Crazy
Nights," is certainly no exception to this rule.
And despite some allusions to Dickens' tale of redemption and
forgiveness in "A Christmas Carol," this story is vile, depressing and
mean-spirited with absolutely no redeeming value but to give the
normally intelligent viewer a terrific migraine.
The title refers to the eight nights of Hannukah and is about as
respectful to the Jewish faith as a Yassar Arafat speech in the West
Bank or Adolf Hitler's Nuremberg Laws.
Plot has Sandler-voiced Davey Stone, a bitter alcoholic (can you feel
the Holiday spirit?!) sentenced to community service by a judge with as
much sense as Lance Ito.
This punishment, which involves him as a referee for youth basketball
games is like putting Jeffrey Dahmer in charge of a Boy Scout picnic.
In this position, Stone is sheltered by another ref, Whitey (also
voiced by Sandler), a small, goofy old man whose kindness is repaid by
being shoved down a hill while using a porta-potty.
Sidesplitting so far, isn't it? Another scene we're supposed to laugh
at is when Stone insults a pudgy boy by making fun of his breasts.
Comedy like will most likely appeal to drunken idiots or college frat
guys with absolutely nothing better to do.
Another problem with this film is that with each rotten insult, each
lame joke and each failing gag is that the viewer - if he or she has
ANY brains at all - actually feels embarrassed to be in on it. In other
words, there is nothing even remotely humorous about this horrid
And Stone, even though a cartoon, is such a revolting, nasty,
unsympathetic lead that one feels nothing but open disdain for his
character. Even the script's lame attempt to justify his behavior by
making his parents die on the eve of Hannakah when he was a kid, does
not illicit one bit of positive emotion at all.
To make things even worse, the picture is sprinkled with several
Holiday song parodies, including a new version of Sandler's "Hannakah
Song," making it one of the worst musicals since "Grease 2" and
"Newsies." Like any number of Sandler movies (with the possible
exception of "The Water Boy" and "The Wedding Singer"), intelligent
dialogue is substituted with maniacal outbursts and acts of bizarre
violence, while comedy is replaced with vulgarities and just plain
Then, there's the artwork, which features Stone drawn to look just like
Sadler, but other principal characters inked like poor versions of
Yoda, while several of the star's stable-mates, including "SNL" alumni
Rob Schneider and Kevin Nealon, among others fill up the non-talented
All in all, "Eight Crazy Night" is about as cheerful and watching an
embalming and is a film that only Ed Gein would enjoy - although he
might have had better taste than that now that I think about it.