You Dont Mess With the Zohan

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +2

Content: -4

Adam Sandler, Rob Schneider, John Turturro, Emmanuelle Chriqui. Action/adventure/comedy. Written by Adam Sandler, Judd Apatow, Robert Smigel. Directed by Dennis Dugan.

FILM SYNOPSIS: Adam Sandler stars as Zohan, an Israeli commando who fakes his own death in order to pursue his dream: becoming a hairstylist in New York. A big deal in his own land, suddenly hes like Austin Powers out of his era when he comes to America armed with a decades old hairstyle book in hand. But his mix of befuddled Latka Gravas and lounge lizard Vic Ferrari persona manages to captivate the clientele of the Palestinian-owned salon where he begins washing the hair and meeting the sexual needs of elderly women. (I kid you not. He does their hair. Then he does them. There in the shop.)

PREVIEW REVIEW: There are some clever moments, the message for Arabs and Jews is Cant we just get along, and Adam Sandler is mostly genial, even witty from time to time. Alas, in keeping with the temper of todays comic geniuses, the film manages only a three step dance; bawdy to raunchy to bawdy, again, cha cha cha. The audience ate it up, including the two 14-year-olds and their mother sitting next to me. No joke was too lewd, no visual to rough. They stayed throughout, enjoying every bit of it. I weep for the future.

Forgive the frankness of this review, but Ive run out of euphemisms for the crassness of todays film comedies. I grant, it has panache, but each comedy seems to attempt to out gross-out the previous one. Audiences never get to see wit based on any human condition other than bodily functions. Here theyre given one genitalia joke after another. Indeed, the leads penis becomes a central character in the film. How this film got away with a PG-13 rating beats me.

DVD Alternative: The In-Laws (the 1979 version with Alan Arkin and Peter Falk). A gentle dentist becomes involved in the bizarre intrigues of his daughters soon-to-be father-in-law. Caution: I have not seen this film in several years; though only rated PG, it may contain some objectionable content. I think it says something positive about the film, however, that the main laughs still remembered by yours truly come from witty situations and clever dialogue. Both Arkin and Falk were hysterical.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Sony Pictures

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Crude and sexual dialogue throughout

Obscene Language: Five or six obscenities (mostly the s-word).

Profanity: One profane use of Gods name.

Violence: Lots of slapstick action as the lead battles terrorists.

Sex: Several sexual situations; a man seeing his friend having intercourse with his mother.

Nudity: Male and female backside nudity played for laughs.

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Sexual conversations throughout.

Drugs: Some drinking.

Other: None

Running Time: 95 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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