Director: Seth Kearsley
Writers: Brooks Arthur, Allen Covert, Brad Isaacs, Adam Sandler
Producers: Adam Sandler, Allen Covert, Jack Giarraputo
Starring (voices of): Adam Sandler, Jackie Sandler, Austin Stout, Kevin Nealon, Rob Schneider
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Running time: 76 min
Since my plan to watch Christmas Evil fell through due to too many sick souls trying to rent it from Netflix this year, I had to settle for the only Christmas themed movie left in the store where I work: Eight Crazy Nights. That’s right; an animated Adam Sandler movie for the holiday season that surprisingly has very little to do with Hanukkah. But I remembered that most Sandler movies in which he doesn’t have some stupid voice are usually tolerable; sometimes quite funny (Happy Gilmore) and sometimes even fantastic (Punch Drunk Love). Since he basically plays it straight with this one and it must be somewhat subversive as it is rated PG-13, how bad could it be I thought? As it turns out, pretty friggin bad.
Davey Stone (Sandler) is a drunk trouble maker that hates the holidays (and people in general) so much that he makes Ebeneezer Scrooge look like Santa Claus. He intentionally ruins festivities, breaks kids’ hearts and creates general havoc by just harrassing the crap out of everyone. After on particularly bad drunken outing, the judge finally sentences Davey to either spend ten years in prison or rehab with the local youth basketball coach. In other words, he has to learn to play basketball again or go to jail. Totally plausible.
The referee turns out to be a short, leprechaun looking guy with a very high pitched, annoying, Mr. Bill-sounding voice. And he’s played by, you guessed it, Mr. Sandler. It’s awful and putrid and the only thing keeping me from switching off the television was my promise to the loyal readers of Row Three, 12 days of Christmas films.
First off, is this movie for kids or adults? I should’ve realized that PG-13 doesn’t mean subversive and it doesn’t mean pushing the envelope. It means half-ass. In other words, there is just a little bit too much swearing in here to allow the kids to watch this, but nothing that’s overly raunchy or even very funny for the adults. It tries to be funny but falls flat at every turn. I suppose a 10 or 11 year-old kid might find a few things in here (the burp and ass jokes) chuckle worthy. But it just made me want to punch Adam Sandler in the kidney. Also Rob Schneider doing the narration should have been a clue right away that this thing was not going to be even slightly amusing.
The animation is one step up from a Saturday morning cartoon that’s about to be canceled and the voice acting is not only awful, but with this basketball coach getting a lot of story time, it was mostly just annoying and unfunny. Sure it has a nice message (be nice to people and cry when you need to), but so does the back of my cereal box of Fruit Loops.
In an attempt to capitalize on some of his song writing skills, Eight Crazy Nights has about 6 or 7 musical interludes as well that are supposed to entertain and make the audience giggle. Again, these songs were just grating and made my left ear bleed.
Enough. Boring and unfunny, stay away – far away – from these Eight “Lazy” Nights.