January 16, 2019

Jews Deserve a Better Hanukkah Movie than "Eight Crazy Nights"

“There aren’t enough creative Yiddish insults in the world to adequately express how much I hate Adam Sandler’s “Eight Crazy Nights.”

It isn’t simply because the 2002 film is another so-called comedy from Sandler that fails to include any funny jokes. By now, he’s churned out so many of those that to get riled up over the presence of another one — particularly a film that was released over a decade-and-a-half ago — would be a waste of time.

But the problem with “Eight Crazy Nights” is that it is the most famous Hanukkah movie out there. While Christians have a bevy of universally beloved Christmas classics to fill their hearts with yuletide cheer (“It’s a Wonderful Life,” “A Christmas Story,” “Home Alone,” “Miracle on 34th Street,” “Elf” and “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” just to get started), this is pretty much the only film that is widely associated with Hanukkah.

And it isn’t just awful. It’s aggressively awful, the kind of awful that makes you suspect the filmmakers actively hate their viewers and wish to cause them pain.

Sandler stars as “33-year-old crazy Jewish guy” Davey Stone, an alcoholic ne’er-do-well who casually commits assault, theft and large-scale property destruction while behaving like a juvenile boor and antisocial creep to pretty much everyone around him. When his antics risk getting him thrown in prison for ten years, however, a kindly old man named Whitey Duvall (also voiced by Sandler) and his twin sister Eleanore (Sandler again) take him under their wing and attempt to rehabilitate him.”

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