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Mr Deeds (2002)

Being filthy rich is hard work…it takes a special kind of guy

Directed by:

Steven Brill

Rating: 5/10

Running Time: 93 minutes

UK Certificate: 12

On DVD

Country: United States

Adam Sandler plays Longfellow Deeds, a genial country bumpkin who inherits a fortune on the death of an uncle he never knew he had. Overnight, he finds himself at the helm of a huge corporation, and leaving his tiny home town for the first time to go to New York. On arrival, he charms everyone, making many friends with his nice guy approach. In the city, news organisations are desperately trying to find out who this new corporate heir is, and one jaded woman reporter named Babe Bennett (Winona Ryder) manages to get close to Deeds by pretending to be a small town girl in distress.

Soon Deeds' exploits are making headlines in the evening news – a troublemaking night on the town with John McEnroe, for example. However, Babe is having second thoughts, since she too has found Deeds to be a nice guy. When he acts heroically but the story is turned against him, it convinces Babe to quit her job and apologise to Deeds, but it is too late – he knows how she betrayed him. And Deeds has other problems – ruthless shareholders plan to get hold of his company and dismantle it.

This is a remake of Frank Capra's 1936 classic 'Mr Deeds Goes to Town', which featured Gary Cooper as the bumpkin hero. However, there are risks in remaking a classic, as this film demonstrates. Where the original was charming and stylish, this is corny and clichéd. Adam Sandler is no Gary Cooper and Winona Ryder is unconvincing as the conniving reporter. The characters are two-dimensional, as is much of the story, and many of the jokes are corny rather than funny. Some remakes should simply never have been made, and this is one of them.

It's Got: Appealing moments that will occasionally make you smile at the screen.

It Needs: Less corn and more real laughs.

DVD Extras It’s always fun to see out-takes included on a DVD. Extras: Director’s commentary, Making of featurette, Costume design featurette, Production design/art direction featurette, Deleted scenes, Out-takes, Filmographies, Teasers. Music Video: ‘Where Are You Going’ – Dave Matthews Band DVD-ROM Extras: 6 Deeds greeting cards to download. DVD Extras Rating: 7/10

Alternatives:

Mr Deeds Goes to Town (1936), Pretty Woman

Summary

This film fails to generate more than a few giggles, and it isn’t a patch on the Capra original.

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