Mr. Deeds

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +3

Content: -2 1/2

Adam Sandler stars in this updated version of director Frank Capras 1936 classic comedy Mr. Deeds Goes to Town. When a New York media mogul dies, the frantic search for his closest heir turns up a great-nephew, Longfellow Deeds (Sandler). A popular member of the small town of Mandrake Falls, New Hampshire, Deeds owns the local pizza parlor and writes poems he hopes will be used by Hallmark Cards. Although amazed by news of his forty billion dollar inheritance, Deeds remains rooted in his small town values. Chuck Cedar (Peter Gallagher), CEO of the media conglomerate is hoping to dazzle Deeds with New York high life long enough to buy out Deeds stock shares and own the company. And Babe Bennett (Winona Ryder), reporter for a local tabloid television wants to know more about the mysterious benefactor of the moguls estate. Pretending to be Pam Dawson, a school nurse from a small town in Iowa, Babe dates Deeds and learns more than she wanted to know. In fact, she discovers his honesty and good acts are the real thing, which challenges her idea about truth. Emilio (John Turturro), long time valet for the mogul, helps Deeds discover more about his great-uncle, but its Babe that turns up the real surprise. A new generation will enjoy this humorous contrast of values.

But MR. DEEDS is not without problems. Although Deeds punches one man and apologizes himself for using vulgar language in front of women, the offending obscenity turns up at least 14 times. Deeds also punches other people to correct their manners. While it may be sometimes thought appropriate, such violence is not the best way to influence behavior. One unnecessary and inappropriate scene shows a man showering and rubbing soap on his posterior. A running joke concerns Deeds black foot from frostbite and its lack of feeling. At one point, Deeds encourages Emilio to strike his foot with a fire-poker. After repeated hits, Emilio even stabs the foot. No blood flows or spurts, but the poker is shown imbedded in the foot. Cat lovers will no doubt take offense at a scene where Deeds rescues cats from a burning building by throwing them out the window. They bounce from the fire net to be caught by various on-lookers, including a dog. But the last cat is shown in flames, to be caught in a bucket of water, from which it emerges intact. Although well-intentioned MR. DEEDS loses ground to vulgar language, unneeded nudity, and violent manners correction treated humorously.

Preview Reviewer: Paul Bicking
Columbia Pictures, 10202 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232

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: Mild 11, moderate 13

Obscene Language: F-word (beeped once), s-word 14, other 5

Profanity: Regular 4 (G, J, swear to G 2); exclamatory 6

Violence: Many times Moderate (mans frozen body pops out of casket, punches, stomp on foot/ hit/ stab with fire-poker, kicks, hit w/trashcan, eggs thrown at car, cats tossed out window to fire-net, flaming cat, hits w/tennis ball, fall on table after staircase slide, man moves kneecap around, fall through ice, women fight w/hits - kicks)

Sex: None

Nudity: Once (male rear in shower); Near nudity Few times (low cut blouse, nude statuary in background)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few times (comment about visiting gentlemens clubs, humorous comment about being virgin implies promiscuous past, suggestive dance on table by couple, suggestive passage read w/ couple kissing in flashback scene)

Drugs: Alcohol/beer drinking, reference to hangover/ black-out drunk, cigar smoking, pipe smoking, asked if hashish in pipe

Other: Contrast manners of small town vs. city, greet with hugs, man not affected by wealth, man gives large sums to others/ charity, man corrects others/ apologizes for coarse language, woman tells child his father lies, people reminded childhood dreams more important than money

Running Time: 91 minutes
Intended Audience: Older teens and adults

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