Alright, let’s be honest here, the majority of people out there seem to be tired of Adam Sandler. I for one still think that he is fairly funny (with the exception of certain movies that will not be named) and one of his more recent films, namely Hotel Transylvania 2 and Pixels were not all that bad and even had many enjoyable moments. Eight Crazy Nights was a 2002 animated Sandler film that was unique in that it combined Sandler’s usually humor with a fairly decent animation style and characters that were pretty zainy in their own rights. And while the story of one Davey Stone (Adam Sandler) has many Hanukkah-driven themes, it still has enough Christmas-y themes and elements to make this list.
Davey Stone (Adam Sandler), a 33-year old party animal, finds himself in trouble with the law after his wild ways go too far. In keeping with the holiday spirit, the judge gives Davey one last chance at redemption — spend the holiday performing community service as the assistant referee for the youth basketball league or go to jail. Davey thinks he’s gotten off easy until he meets Whitey Duvall, the eccentric, elf-like head referee.
In many ways, this film is a redemption story that follows in the spirit of Christmas. Due to a tragic even in his past, Davey Stone has become the town alcoholic and screw up and everyone just wants him gone. After a final offense, a local judge wants to send him to prison until Whitey Duvall, a town outcast in his own right, offers the judge an alternative: Let Davey do community service as in a youth basketball league supervised by Whitey. I like, in this film, how it balances the utter dickish nature of Davey as an adult with Davey as a kid. You get glimpses as the movie progresses that Davey wasn’t always the way he is at present. In fact, he had a bright future and was a truly good person until his parents died in a car accident. He grew increasingly bitter with age and more distant thinking that he was alone. But what he doesn’t realize is that if he just got out of his own way, he would notice that there are people out there that do care for him.
Now, what stops this movie from being GOOD is that there are far too many over the top things that happen in it. Be it the gross way in which people in the film often laugh to the point of gross snot coming out of their noses and mouths or just some of the clunky grown-up jokes that are there simply to make you feel like the film really doesn’t give a crap. In either case, it is clear that this movie was made without a target audience in mind. The animation suggests children, this alienating adults from seeing the movie, but the jokes and humor and crass nature of Davey and the townspeople suggests that the movie IS for adults. Many of what happens in the film in terms of antics feels like it is there for shock value and takes away from what could have been a pretty heartwarming story.
Like if you take out snot-laughing, port-potty-tipping, deer shitting and the crass jokes from the film you’re still left with a fairly compelling and heartwarming holiday story. The unfortunate thing is that the film may have been good without all that other junk. Don’t get me wrong, some of the stuff is actually pretty funny, but too much of it is cringeworthy to be enjoyable. But when I think of this movie, in my head I think of Davey’s heartwaThe original title was “Whitey & Davey”, but it was changed because it sounded “politically incorrect”.rming past and his ending redemption some in the film and, to me, THAT is a good movie. S
o, while the critic in me wants to completely write this movie off as trash, the human in me thinks that you should watch this movie simply for that solid redemption story found within all the crap that this film offers. Just don’t watch it with tiny children around, the themes may be holiday-friendly, but the townsfolk certainly are not!
Davey is based on a picture of Adam Sandler when he was 19.
Director Seth Kearsley said all of the product placements were used without permission from their respective companies.
Davey’s parents are voiced by Adam Sandler’s parents, Stanley and Judy Sandler. This was Stanley’s first and last film appearance, he died in 2003 and his memory was dedicated in another Adam Sandler film, 50 First Dates (2004).
Many animation fans have noted the design style of the characters in Eight Crazy Nights is similar to the design style of the characters in The Iron Giant (1999). The majority of the animators that worked on this film were laid off from Warner Bros. Feature Animation (which produced The Iron Giant) and Fox Animation Studios.