Published Dec 01, 20028 Crazy Nights, directed by Seth Kearsley, is Adam Sandler's idea of a holiday tale, which means it's one designed for the 13-year-old brat who loves fart jokes and laughing at disabled people. Apart from that it's a classic story: as holiday season dawns on a small town there's a scrooge, or grinch, or whatever, who just can't seem to appreciate the joy of the holiday season. This party pooper invariably has some sort of demon in his or her closet, which - by the end of the film - is exorcised, leaving everyone happy and able to take in the warmth of the Holiday spirit.
In this case the scrooge is Davey Stone, a 33-year-old man who lives in a trailer and causes nothing but trouble. After a particularly brutal offence (which includes a fart joke in true Sandler style), the town judge is about to sentence Davey to ten years in jail when a short albino man, who is conveniently named Whitey, and was Davey's ref in his junior basketball league, promises to redeem Davey, telling everyone of how nice a boy Davey was in his youth.
This sets us off on a feel good tale where Whitey gets the love of the town, Davey is redeemed, and, of course, meets with his long lost love Jennifer (voiced by Sandler's fiancé Jackie Titone.) Of course, being a Sandler film, the film is peppered with fart jokes, people covered in human feces, deer eating said human feces, and a variety of other gags that don't exactly fit with the story line. Added on to this are a variety of songs, none of which are endearing, and two (both set in a mall), which are filled with so much corporate sponsorship that it is impossible to ignore. This corporate sponsorship is also integral to the plot; let's just say that Davey's redemption comes at the hands of a talking Foot Locker logo.
The infantile jokes, the horrible songs, the flood of corporate sponsorship, and the stale predictable plot all contribute to a boring and, at times, disgusting holiday tale. This could just be Sandler's reminder that, despite being in a P.T. Anderson film and co-starring in an upcoming movie with Jack Nicholson, he's still the same old guy. Unfortunately, he chooses to do it with a film that's limited by its genre, and in animated form, which constrains the physical comedy that made him so popular.