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Thursday, August 21, 2008

You Don't Mess With the Zohan

I'm back, sort of! Since I haven't posted anything in a month (I did set up automatic posts so it wouldn't be completely dead here), I decided to just jump in and post about the movie we saw this evening. I don't think there'll be a Thursday Thirteen this week--I'm still in the middle of boxes and we have a ton of things to do--but I'm hoping to be posting regularly by next week.

**** You Don't Mess with the Zohan. Comedy.

Directed by: Dennis Dugan.
Starring: Adam Sandler, John Turturro, Emmanuelle Chriqui

Carl, Camden, and I saw this tonight. Nice thing about our new digs: we can walk to the movie theater!

Zohan (Adam Sandler) is an exceptionally skilled Israeli Mossad agent (lots of hilariously unrealistic stunts), but what he really wants is to move to America and become a hairdresser. Unfortunately, he's too good at what he does, and nobody wants him to quit.

When his Palestinian arch-nemesis, the Phantom (John Turturro) is released as part of a prisoner exchange, a disillusioned Zohan takes the opportunity to use their next showdown to fake his own death and escape to his dream life.

The only place he can find a job is a beauty shop run by a Palestinian woman (Emmanuelle Chriqui), where he attracts scores of older women customers.

There's a LOT of sexual innuendo--it definitely earns its PG-13 rating. I'd have been uncomfortable if Camden had been any younger. But I at least found it funny rather than crude--probably because it was all so over-the-top. And maybe it's my age, but I kind of liked Zohan's appreciation for older (and rounder!) women, even though it made Carl and Camden cringe.

There's also a love story (you can see the twist coming a mile off, but that's okay--I didn't expect any earth-shattering surprises), and a mild message of tolerance that seems to echo last year's I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry.

Also similar are the criticisms of stereotyping--obviously from those who don't understand the power of humor to expose and dispel stereotypes.

One of my favorite scenes was the hacky-sack tournament, with it's pause for a "disco break". Too funny.

And it was a lot of fun noticing all the cameos: Henry Winkler, Kevin James, and John McEnroe, to name a few. There were more--I'm not even sure the IMDB lists them all--or maybe I'm just having trouble matching unfamiliar names to familiar faces.

It's not Great Cinema, but then if you were expecting Great Cinema, you wouldn't be going to an Adam Sandler movie. I laughed aloud throughout the movie. The pacing was great--the non-funny parts never lasted long enough to get dull, and the funny parts didn't get tedious. The accents did get a little difficult to understand on occasion, but even that added to the overall experience. Bottom line: It was a fun way to spend a couple of hours.

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