July 15, 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.”

Read more

JJ Editor's Daily Picks

"India’s water crisis offers a striking reminder of how climate change is rapidly morphing into a climate emergency. Piped water has run dry in Chennai, the southern state of Tamil Nadu’s capital, and 21 other Indian cities are also facing the..."

"Such a blackout is coming. It is only a matter of time. Again, leaving aside the growing threats of cyber and terrorist attacks upon our power grid, the fact of the matter is that much of our grid is antiquated junk desperately in need of billion."

"In Israel’s early years—even earlier, in fact, during the decades leading up to independence—the kibbutz played an integral role in creating the country’s economic and political infrastructure. Based on a shared economy and hard work..."

"Scarlett Johansson became something of a conservative hero on Friday for speaking out against identity politics. She told As If magazine, in quotes excerpted by the Daily Mail, “You know, as an actor I should be allowed to play any person, or..."

"During the 2012 presidential election, there occurred one of those remarkably rare moments when campaign rhetoric actually clarified a large issue. It happened when Barack Obama, speaking without a written text, spoke from his heart and..."

"IN FEBRUARY, LEAKED software code predicted the demise of the back button on the latest version of Google's Android smartphone. Apple did away with the iPhone's home button in 2017. LG’s latest handset allows users to control their devices..."

"I am in the mosh pit of West Hollywood’s El Rey Theatre, jangly from two cups of Zoe Ministries’ excellent self-branded coffee. Twenty 20-somethings in mom jeans, sneakers, and colorful baggy shirts are singing Disney-radio-inflected anthems..."

"Before the advent of scientific evidence and philosophical guidance on the subject, literary odes to the creative and health benefits of walking flourished. No one has been more tireless in reviving the history of exhortations to join the “Order..."

"Facebook and Twitter feeds were buzzing with discussion after the late-May New York Times article declaring that millennials are no longer interested in marriage. The article’s popularity can be attributed, in part, to the uncomfortable truth it..."

"The run happened — or didn’t — maybe five days into the raw-diet experiment. I had formed a sort of fitness pact with a friend to forgo cooked food, and after days of nothing but salads, almonds, sashimi and black coffee, my body felt taut and..."

"Humans have long sought the elixir of youth, so it is not surprising that even non-scientists closely follow the latest research into aging. But is what most people consider simply a fact of life actually a “disease” that can be cured? Or is..."

"It’s no secret that many Jews are struggling to keep up. More and more, middle and even upper-middle class Jews are finding religion to be an increasingly expensive component of their lives. My husband has a good job and I have a burgeoning..."