Making the Grades
Keeping up a hectic schedule on TV and film, Adam Sandler makes his third 2002 big screen appearance in Eight Crazy Nights (albeit this time in voice only).
But does quantity equal quality? In this case, with the exception of being animated, the movie presents a typical Sandler storyline: A dysfunctional protagonist spewing tons of scatological humor in a script that railroads audiences to his usual warm and fuzzy sentimental ending.
Taking place in a small eastern town, Davey (Sandler) is a young Jewish man known throughout the community for his drunken temper that results in caustic remarks and pointless property damage. After his latest rampage, the local judge decides such an abusive alcoholic will never change. About to slap him with ten-years in the slammer, the sentence is interrupted by a lone voice from a tiny misshapen man who begs for reconsideration.
Whitey (also voiced by Sandler) hardly stands as tall as Davey's kneecaps yet he puts his giant heart into volunteering as a basketball ref and being an all round nice guy. Convinced he can help reform Davey into a better man, Whitey persuades the judge to place the delinquent into his custody. While his appeal is to give the offender an opportunity to assist with charitable efforts, the elderly do-gooder has an ulterior motive: To win the annual award as the person offering the greatest act of service to the community - something he's wanted for 35 years. But his generous proposal is further complicated after an enemy burns down Davey's trailer. With no other choice, Whitey brings Davey home to live with him and his sister Eleanor (Sandler again) - an unlikely grouping to say the least.
As Davey's secret past unfolds, some empathy for his problems may be gained, however his destructive actions are still difficult to justify. Parents will want to be on their guard for what looks, at first brush, like a Christmas "cartoon." This PG-13 film openly cavorts in bathroom humor using images and dialogue, along with other sexual topics most polite people don't sing about at the top of their lungs.
While the Broadway-style orchestrated soundtrack provides a nice distraction, catchy songs like Technical Foul are full of phrases you'll likely not want your children humming - even if only for Eight Crazy Nights.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Adam Sandler’s Eight Crazy Nights (2002).
A traumatic experience in Davey’s life is blamed for his present behavior. Does this event justify his actions? How can we be better prepared to deal with life’s unexpected situations? What ways we can practice having control over our reactions?
Have you, like Whitey, ever felt overlooked by others? Besides public recognition, what other ways are we “repaid” for our volunteer efforts? Should we rely on others noticing us?