Adam Sandler gets serious in ‘Uncut Gems’
The newest Adam Sandler movie, which is also the newest Safdie Brothers movie, makes for a frantic, shocking, nervous, sweaty time at the cinema. It’s a movie that offers joyous highs and abysmal lows. Some of it will make you laugh, some of it will make you squirm.
It’s not the kind of Sandler film that will appeal to those longtime fans who bow down to his loud and goofy “Happy Gilmore” side. This shows off the talents of those “other” Sandlers, the ones in “The Wedding Singer” and “Funny People” and the sadly overlooked “The Meyerowitz Stories.”
It’s the kind of film that fans of the Safdie Brothers’ earlier efforts, “Heaven Knows What” and “Good Time,” will be expecting, but this one turns up the intensity meter just a little higher.
“Uncut Gems” (rated R; in select theaters now in New York and Los Angeles, goes nationwide Christmas Day) is the story of a man with a gambling problem. That would be Howard (Sandler), who owns a jewelry showroom in New York’s Diamond District, and who is addicted to betting on basketball games, and who never seems to have much luck coming his way. He borrows money to make bets, loses the bets, borrows more money – from other people – to pay off the debts, then borrows more – from yet others – to make more bets.