Longfellow Deeds (Gary Cooper) is a small town man who writes postcard poetry and plays the tuba. When his distant uncle dies and leaves him twenty million dollars, he heads to New York. Assuming that he’s an ignorant sap, lawyers and business men instantly flock around him to swindle him out of his money. Mr. Deeds’ isn’t so daft, but when he stumbles upon a lady in distress he falls for her immediately, not realizing that she’s a newspaper reporter. Babe (Jean Arthur), the reporter, sticks to Deeds’ side to expose and exaggerate all the wonderfully odd things about Deeds. She doesn’t realize it, but she’s falling in love with him and the more she writes about him the worse she feels. When Deeds decides to do something honorable with his new money, the articles are used against him to claim that he’s insane and not fit to handle such a grand amount of money.
If anyone read that and said, “Hey, didn’t that movie have Adam Sandler in it?” …shame on you. Alright, I’ll try to take that back, but still, Sandler can’t hold a candle to the great Gary Cooper. Also, Sandler is good at portraying a dope. You know, he makes funny voices, sings The Hanukkah Song and he was the freakin’ water boy for heaven’s sake! Sigh, I guess it’s alright today, since Mr. Deeds is supposed to be a kinda dopey guy, but in the good-hearted fun way, not the over-the-top goofy ‘but-mama-says’ Sandler way.
I’ve only seen parts of the Sandler Deeds (the urge to vomit was too extreme). The original Deeds never even caused a hiccup. The story is sweet without stupidity, Cooper inspires genuine laughter (and does the little echo scene so well). If this film seems interesting to you, please see the original. If you really are a diehard Sandler fan, see both.
Sadly, I can imagine this film being remade again with an even goofier guy. Just imagine the crap Justin Bieber will be cranking out in fifteen years.
“That guy is either the dumbest, stupidest, most imbecilic idiot in the world, or else he’s the grandest thing alive. I can’t make him out.”