There’s a new grinch in town only this one isn’t green and doesn’t reside in Whoville. His name is Davey Stone and he lives in the little town of Dukesberry. Adam Sandler’s “8 Crazy Nights” (stemming from the phrase he coined in his famous “Hanukkah Song”) is a new addition to the animated holiday cannon complete with all the humor one would expect from the creator of “Happy Gilmore” and “Billy Madison.”
Before the main feature, “8 Crazy Nights” opens with the short, “A Day in the Life of Meatball.” In the short, Sandler documents the events of his pet bulldog throughout the day – from going to the gym to having a tryst in a hotel. Short and hilarious, it helps to set the tone for the film that follows: funny, juvenile, totally Adam Sandler.
Davey Stone is a menace to the small town of Dukesberry. A once local basketball legend, he has become a bitter drunk who detests the holidays due to the death of his parents on one of the nights of Hanukkah. One night, Davey skips out on a bar tab and destroys the town’s holiday ice sculptures. This leads to a courtroom scene where an all-too-forgiving judge finally has had enough. Enter Whitey, a short, crippled little man with a big heart. He offers to take Davey under his wing as an assistant referee for the town’s youth basketball league, thus saving him from being sentenced to prison.
Davey wants nothing to do with this funny little man and opposes him at all times. Davey makes fun of the fat kid, steals from the good-hearted woman and turns Whitey into a “poopsicle.” These are just a few of the bad deeds Davey continues to commit while under the supervision of the very sweet old man.
The misdeeds persist until Davey’s home catches fire and he is forced to move in with Whitey and his sister. Davey’s cold heart finally begins to melt and his antics slow down. Whitey is intent on winning the annual Dukesberry badge of honor and after Davey’s catharsis, the reformed delinquent is able to help Whitey achieve his dream.
While short, “8 Crazy Nights” holds many humorous moments through both its musical numbers and the outrageous toilet humor that can be expected from Adam Sandler. Both Christmas and Hanukkah are treated in the film, but the emphasis is clearly placed on the Jewish holiday. Few, if any, holiday movies center on the Festival of Lights as can be seen with such recent releases of films like “The Santa Clause 2.” Sandler leaves the holiday in the background, however, and never brings it up in terms of an “issue” or treats the subject with any sort of severity. It is for this reason that the film is refreshing in that it isn’t saying, “Hey everybody, there is this whole other holiday out there,” but there is clearly a statement being made in terms of recognition.
Sandler provides many of the voices in the film, and his talent for characterization really shows. Each of the unique voices he creates is very funny and one might be surprised to find out just how many he did for the film. While a bit juvenile and most likely a Sandler-fan film, “8 Crazy Nights” offers a humorous getaway for the holidays.