Making the Grades
Little Nicky (Adam Sandler) cares more about his father than do his brothers, Adrian (Rhys Ifans) or Cassius (Tommy Lister Jr.). But dad isn't always easy to love. The Devil (Harvey Keitel) himself, Nicky's father has just decided none of his three sons are ready to take over managing the infernal pit. Pouting, Adrian and Cassius decide to walk out on their family obligations and return to earth, but their departure sets off a bazaar series of events, including freezing the flames of hell and causing their father's body to begin decomposing piece by piece.
For some unexplainable reason, if Nicky can capture his wayward brothers and return them to hell, his father's body will restore itself and the flames beneath will burn again. But finding them won't be easy because these two can hide inside the body of anyone on earth --including a Catholic priest, the mayor of New York City, and even the usually family oriented Harlem Globetrotters. So Nicky solicits the help of Beefy (Robert Smigel), a talking bulldog who's both spiritually possessed and sexually obsessed.
With Sandler playing a dysfunctional character (as he does in most of his films), Little Nicky drags the audience through a legion of sexual innuendo, perversions (including bestiality), and substance abuse-- even resorting to showing animals having sex. Depictions of hell include twisted images like a male demon cursed with breasts growing on his head, who is repeatedly pursued by other male creatures desperate for sex.
Just as disturbing is this film's outright attack on any religious beliefs. Besides the possessed Catholic priest's many derogatory statements, the movie preaches that hell is a lot of fun, while heaven is full of do-gooders who sit around wishing they were there. The appearance of satanic icons like rocker Ozzie Ozborne (who bites the head off a digitally simulated bat), establish Satan-worshipers as heros in this film.
With many sports and entertainment celebrities accepting cameo roles in this movie, it may have high teenage appeal. However parents should be well advised that there is nothing in this movie that teaches positive social, emotional, or spiritual behavior.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Little Nicky.
While we can’t recommend this film for children (or adults), if your children do see it you may want to discuss how this movie’s justifies Nicky’s dysfunctional behavior for the sake of pleasing his father, Satan. You may also wish to discuss your moral or religious beliefs, as compared to the film’s attitudes toward doing good and its portrayal of a heaven that lacks any guidance from a positive spiritual source.