Adam Sandler's Eight Crazy Nights Reviews
Eight Crazy Nights is not one of Adam Sandler's better known films, and it's clear why. The film is little more than an exercise in flagrant self-indulgence for Adam Sandler with four writers behind it and yet nobody who can come up with a clever joke. Despite being animated in the style of a conventional Christmas special, Eight Crazy Nights uses this illusion as an attempt to make its potty humour much funnier by contrast. Unfortunately, it is far from effective. The only times that I laughed during Eight Crazy Nights were when I went against the movie's expectations and had a genuine thought about what I was watching, coming to the realization that the genuine idea that anybody could come up with such ridiculous dribble and consider it humour was beyond my own belief.
Eight Crazy Nights attempts to be a childish animation, a ridiculously potty humour oriented film and a serious film that deals with concepts such as bereavement and depression all at once. Unfortunately, the only thing the film succeeds at is being animated. And even then, the animation is intentionally designed to be modelled after animated Christmas specials which means that it is hardly groundbreaking. The animation to the film may have colour to it and provide a medium where the film can represent whatever ridiculous ideas it wants on screen, but what is actually depicted proves far from innovative without even bringing nostalgic value to viewers who appreciate the old animated Christmas specials. The film features the presence of musical numbers as a desperate attempt to try and bring that in, but the songs are not funny, catchy or well-written in the slightest. They don't even blend with the narrative and ultimately just feel too forced, ultimately living down to the standard of the rest of the writing in the film. I don't like musical films in the first place, so when a film so full of aggressively unfunny crude jokes ends up trying to distract viewers with musical numbers, the result is simply depressing. More depressing than the main character who is modelled as a combined caricature of Ebenezer Scrooge and Adam Sandler's natural archetype, therefore plain unlikable from the start. And the predictable path of the story is not hidden beneath the ridiculous excuse for jokes that are written into the story. There is no telling what kind of jokes will come next as they are always different kinds being thrown at the viewer from all directions. Perhaps some of the most childish viewers will find the ridiculous spin on the commonly child-friendly nature of Christmas animated specials in Eight Crazy Nights to be of some kind of comic value, but those who do no subscribe to the esoteric market of Adam Sandler's lesser works will simply see the film for what it is: a lifeless collection of sketches that try to reduce concepts such as alcoholism and seizures to paper-thin gags bereft of any sensibility. I couldn't help but wonder who came up with the idea to fund such a ridiculous film. That was all answered for me in one scene where the characters travel to the mall and show audiences all the real-life stores as depicted with animated logos that come to life. Product placement in films can hardly get more explicit than in Eight Crazy Nights, and the flagrantly obvious nature of this all condemns the materialistic nature of the film to be too much like blatant Christmas advertising itself to honestly enjoy. The concept itself is a joke, but like the actual jokes in the rest of the film, there is nothing to laugh about. The simple fact is that everything in Eight Crazy Nights is woefully misguided, and so the fact that you've never heard of director Seth Kearsley comes as no coincidence.
Even the gimmick of Adam Sandler as an animated character is far from appealing in Eight Crazy Nights. Adam Sandler's voice work is sub-par. You can tell he's making an effort, it's just that his ambition is a blind one. The protagonist of the story is animated in such a way that his face shows few expressions beyond the same hungover face the entire film, and Adam Sandler approaches the role as such with a mostly monotonous line delivery. He has occasional bursts of greater energy, but it is hardly ever convincing because the character remains lost in his own depressive melancholy the entire time. But Adam Sandler actually voices three major characters in the film as well as making the deer sounds. The other two he plays are Whitey and Eleanore Duvall. Voicing three characters in one film is rather ridiculous when you can't get the main one right, but it also means audiences are bound to pick up on the similarities and break past the ridiculous facade. While the ridiculously nasal tone of voice he puts into Eleanore Duvall may be slightly more convincing and even borderline funny at times, Whitey Duvall is a character I could not look past. Instead of trying to sound like an old man, Adam Sandler simply raises his voice to the highest point for the role of Whitey Duvall. This isn't funny and it is certainly not believable, but rather just incredibly annoying. Adam Sandler spends most of Eight Crazy Nights having conversations with himself, and that idea is hardly funny enough on the surface to justify 76 minutes of it.
So Eight Crazy Nights' medium as an animated film gives Adam Sandler a chance to explore a new level of ridiculous potty humour, and he does it with disregard for creating anything genuinely funny which ends up leading to a scatterlogical collection of crude and laugh-free gags that fail to illuminate any kind of Christmas spirit.