Adam Sandler is White Ladies Man in Judd Apatow’s ‘You Don’t Mess With the Zohan’

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Average: 2.4 (7 votes) Oscarman rating: 3.5/5
Rating: 3.5/5.0

CHICAGO – In the relatively anemic anthology of recent Adam Sandler flops, “You Don’t Mess with the Zohan” hangs above with comedic charm and a nonsensically amusing plotline. The story is divisively intermingled with racial and ethnic sensitivities between the Israelis and Palestinians.

At first, it even feels like a scribe sat down for a few weeks, slammed back a few brewskies and toked daily on the good ganja while attempting to ink a forcefully novel plot.

In You Don't Mess with the Zohan, Emmanuelle Chriqui stars as Dalia: a Palestinian immigrant to New York and owner of a hair salon who gives Zohan his big break in his dream to become a hairstylist
Emmanuelle Chriqui as Dalia in “You Don’t Mess with the Zohan”.
Photo credit: Columbia Pictures

Surprisingly, its idiosyncratic nature tends to work as you build esteem for the libidinous man Adam Sandler has transformed into.

While Sandler has played the full gamut of roles in recent memory, this time he’s actually a Thor who beckons women to his sexual mercy.

Sandler as Zohan is the white version of the legendary Tim Meadows character The Ladies Man from “Saturday Night Live” but with a thick Israeli accent.

Zohan is an Israeli counter-terrorist commando who fakes his own death in order to pursue his unlikely and embarrassing dream of becoming a hairstylist in New York.

To make matters more outlandishly canned, Zohan’s arch nemesis, Phantom (played by John Turturro), has a similarly humiliating reverie: selling shoes.

Lainie Kazan is welcome motherly relief – except when she’s revealed utterly nude from the rear and causes an eruptive audience gasp – and Rob Schneider, of course, can’t let an Adam Sandler flick make it to the big screen without joining him on it.

As well, you might have noticed Dave Matthews in the film, but I didn’t.

In You Don't Mess with the Zohan, Adam Sandler stars as Zohan: an Israeli commando who fakes his own death in order to pursue his dream of becoming a hairstylist in New York
In “You Don’t Mess with the Zohan,” Adam Sandler stars as Zohan: an Israeli commando who fakes his own death in order to pursue his dream of becoming a hairstylist in New York.
Photo credit: Columbia Pictures

Hollywood hands Sandler a bone throughout the course of his reinvented, Jason Bourne-like ways and affords him the moves, styles and suave demeanor even Sandler in real life would envy.

Indeed, he epitomizes making love and not war and even isn’t shy about “making sticky” with women who had to be pushing 80. Whew.

The one woman he fancies the most and doesn’t return your stomach’s digestive matter is the beautiful and enormously unlikely love interest Sandler would never actually touch with a 100-foot stick: Emmanuelle Chriqui.

The Israeli Zohan begs the Palestinian siren to work for her in her New York hair salon.

StarView our high-resolution “You Don’t Mess With the Zohan” image gallery.

StarMore film reviews from critic Adam Fendelman.

She quixotically accepts – because Sandler’s co-written script with the on-fire Judd Apatow told her to – despite his having zero experience and initially thinking Paul Mitchell himself would hire him.

Mitchell later is wasted with an unnecessary cameo where he absurdly calls Sandler to implore his employment.

Due to Zohan’s Hollywood-blessed ability to rack in the female clientele with his sexual deviance, Sandler denies what was once his ultimate fantasy in an ultimately scripted act of employer loyalty.

This script worked its magic best when you temporarily forgot it was trying ever-so delicately to roil you silly out of your seat but fell flat when its corniness unnaturally tried much too hard.

While one could respect the amped-up Hacky Sacking, Hacky Sacking a live and meowing cat? Now come on. That’s even more cruel than squirrel fishing.

“You Don’t Mess With the Zohan” opened everywhere on June 6, 2008. editor-in-chief Adam Fendelman


© 2008 Adam Fendelman,

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