- compiled by Jeffrey Overstreet Copyright Christianity Today International
- 2002 1 Jan
It's not just the formula—the simpleton trying to cope with great wealth—that's familiar. The movie is a remake of Frank Capra's
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' critic writes, "It might have been better if
Bob Smithouser (Focus on the Family) calls it an "occasionally sweet-spirited, yet often profane adaptation. It's as if the first 20 minutes were too much decency for the filmmakers to take, so they backloaded the picture with as much crass, MTV-style humor as possible to compensate for the wholesome set-up."
Michael Elliott (Christian Critic) says, "Simple is the best descriptive for this disappointing piece of fluff. More accurately, it is simple-minded. Apparently nothing stands in the way of reaching for a laugh, no matter how far one must stretch. Adam Sandler has built his career playing goofy guys with a heavy sarcastic and sardonic sense of humor. As Longfellow Deeds, Sandler … is muzzled and his performance becomes bland."
Lisa Rice (
Phil Boatwright (Movie Reporter) says, "How do I compare this remake with the original, starring Gary Cooper and directed by Frank Capra? Hamburger vs. steak."
Paul Bicking (Preview) affirms that "
One critic stood up for the film. Holly McClure (Crosswalk) says she "laughed all the way through this movie," but she adds that "
Mainstream critics seemed glad that Capra and Cooper are not around to see their movie so mistreated. Roger Ebert (
Andrew O'Hehir (Salon.com) says, "There is something fundamentally bogus … about this movie's painfully earnest presentation of its plain-spoken, heartland-America values. It's fake sincerity, or maybe sincere fakery."