A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Adam Sandler's Eight Crazy Nights is an animated Hanukkah feature with more than its fair share of inappropriate and gross-out humor. This movie is not for young children or those who might find lead character Davey's actions worth imitating. The movie has extremely vulgar humor, strong language -- including "crap," "bulls--t," "bite me," and "butthole" -- and the middle-finger gesture. The lead character makes a joke at the expense of an overweight child; another joke is made about a transgender woman. Look out for references to a "morning erection" and innuendo involving the word "melons." In perhaps the most disturbing scene, an elderly man in a portable potty is kicked down a snowy hill. He emerges covered in excrement and immediately is frozen. Deer lick the excrement icicle until he's thawed out and are shown with excrement on their teeth. There also is Asian stereotyping.
What's the story?
Thirty-three-year-old Davey Stone (Adam Sandler) is an angry drunk living alone and hating the community, the holidays, and himself. When his destructive behavior lands him in front of a judge who gives him a jail sentence, Whitey Duvall (also Adam Sandler), the endlessly good-hearted youth basketball coach, intervenes to help Davey find his inner adult. Through flashbacks, Davey at 12 years old (Adam Uhler) is revealed to be a sweet and thoughtful kid with loving parents, a best friend/girlfriend, Jennifer, and a talent for basketball. It was his inability to come to terms with the loss of his parents that took Davey down the path to becoming the heavy-drinking town miscreant. Whitey's attempts to put Davey on the straight-and-narrow path are aided by Eleanor Duvall (also Adam Sandler), Whitey's twin sister, and the reappearance of Jennifer (Jackie Titone).
Is it any good?
EIGHT CRAZY NIGHTS is a bit of an enigma. In the Venn diagram of movie-goers, Adam Sandler fans are not an easy overlap with those who cherish holiday musicals. This lame attempt at comedy is more likely to appeal to the former than the latter. Unleashed by the medium of animation, Sandler's raging little-boy humor takes on an aura of threatening menace, tempered only by Davey's 11th-hour revelation, which does little to heal the wounds inflicted along the way. Unlike his personas in The Waterboy, Little Nicky, Happy Gilmore, or numerous Saturday Night Live skits, Davey -- Adam Sandler's proxy -- is seldom the object of the comical abuse, but it's instead the diminutive and furry Whitey who is the town's whipping boy. Though Davey's equal-opportunity hatred is (somewhat) explained, the treatment of the physically challenged Duvall twins by the town rings of a darker, crueler humor.
Families looking for something to watch together should steer clear, unless appreciation of outhouse humor is a family tradition. Clearly, this movie, with its taunting mockery of the physically challenged, its very graphic potty jokes, and its drunken binges also is not for animation fans seeking Disney's sweet concoctions or Pixar's wry wit. Older teens looking for the extreme edge of South Park will not be appeased by the suburban softness of fart jokes. All of this probably narrows the circle of appreciative audience members to those who want to see a feature-length movie along the lines of skits from Spike & Mike's Sick & Twisted Festival of Animation.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the appeal of gross-out humor. Do you think it's funny? Why, or why not?
On the surface, this is a "holiday-themed" movie, right down to the animation. How is this different from most traditional holiday-themed movies?
Who is the intended audience here? How can you tell?
- In theaters: November 27, 2002
- On DVD or streaming: November 27, 2002
- Cast: Adam Sandler, Jackie Titone, Jon Lovitz
- Director: Seth Kearsley
- Studio: Columbia Tristar
- Genre: Comedy
- Run time: 71 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: frequent crude and sexual humor, drinking and brief drug references.
For kids who love the holidays
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.