Uncut Gems and Adam Sandler


Justin Peters, Entertainment and Arts Editor

Josh and Benny Safdie’s new film, Uncut Gems, is nothing short of a treasure. The story is engaging and rich and keeps you on the edge of your seat. The score is fueled with intense, beautiful 80’s synth, and the entire aesthetic of the film is like a water-color dream, and of course, Adam Sandler, and the rest of the actors, crush their performances into a likeable-terrible-person pulp. Everyone seems to be talking about how incredible Adam Sandler is in the film, but it shouldn’t really surprise anyone. However, with his recent Oscar snub, is he doing something wrong? Does something need to change in his career, or can he keep making the same movie almost every year?

It may be hard to see, but Adam Sandler is a really talented actor, just very lazy. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: a quirky underdog meets an attractive woman while some unfunny bully tries to stop him and his best friend and/or grandma helps him to win a competition or a company position while he makes body humor. Think of any Adam Sandler movie (Happy Gilmore, Billy Madison, The Waterboy, etc.), then apply the film to my formula. Does it fit? If not, then it’s probably a really good movie, or a failed experiment of a film. If it does fit, maybe a few of them have some elements worth watching, but the others just add up to the same movie every time. And the really good ones that don’t fall under the formula weren’t written by Sandler; films like Punch-Drunk Love, The Meyerowitz Stories, and Funny People. Not only does Adam Sandler deliver a great comedic performance in these films, but a surprising amount of genuine emotion in each. So what needs to change?

If Sandler wants to make his own films, he needs to try something new or bring other talented writers/directors to help him. It’s worked before and it’s proven to be successful every time, but he is very funny, don’t get that wrong. His new Netflix special, 100% Fresh, is funny and heartfelt. The guy can give something meaningful to the world, and I think more people are starting to notice with Uncut Gems; a beautiful, crazy Adam Sandler film that Adam Sandler didn’t make.