Little Nicky

People say that Adam Sandler's comedy is stupid, and to a certain extent, they are right. What they fail to recognize is that, in a way, Sandler is a genius. Sure is humor is not funny, but he knows what his audience wants and gives it to them, and his audience keeps wanting more. So Sandler movies are more a statement on the intelligence level of the audience, which seems to be a large portion of America. Sandler will continue to make movies his way until people demand he change, which will not be soon. Small segments of Sandler on Saturday Night Live are okay, but an hour and a half becomes tedious. There really is nothing inherently funny about a guy with a speech impediment and constant grimace.

That said, Little Nicky is actually surprising (for one of his movies). Sandler doesn't really do anything different, but what is nice is the almost constant parade of guest stars including Kevin Nealon, Dana Carvey, Ellen Cleghorn, Rodney Dangerfield, Jon Lovitz, Ozzy Osbourne, Michael McKean, Reese Witherspoon, Quentin Tarantino, and others show up in varying amusing cameos. As always, Sandler (Big Daddy, The Wedding Singer) plays the underdog. Here, he's Nicky, the loser son of Satan (Harvey Keitel, Holy Smoke, U-571). Satan is getting ready to retire, and his sons Cassius (Tom 'Tiny' Lister, Next Friday, Circus) and Adrian (Rhys Ifans, Notting Hill, The Replacements) are vying for control of Hell. They escape to Earth, sealing Hell to any new souls. This causes Satan to begin to lose his power, and it's up to Nicky to save the day. For the slower audience members, the characters clearly and slowly spell this out to avoid any confusion. He needs to go to Earth and capture his brothers with only the help of Mr. Beefy (Robert Smigel, The Wedding Singer, Tomorrow Night), a talking bulldog.

Sandler, Tim Herlihy, and director Stephen Brill (Ready to Rumble) fill the script with the standard lowbrow adolescent humor. Is sticking a pineapple up Hitler's butt funny? How about a man with breasts on his head? There are probably three genuinely funny moments in the film, but it's hard to distinguish whether they are actually funny or funny relative to the rest of the humor in the film. Some people say that Sandler humor takes a couple viewings to 'get,' but that's the same thing as saying that if somebody gets hit in the head, it hurts less each additional time. Little Nicky is essentially a film that knows its core audience and directs everything exactly at them. Regardless of what anybody says, they will watch Little Nicky and love it. For everybody else, the experience is just not worth it.

Haro Rates It: Not That Good.
1 hour, 29 minutes, Rated PG-13 for crude sexual humor, some drug content, language, and thematic elements.

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