Eight Crazy Nights (2002)
Davey Stone (Adam Sandler), a 33-year old party animal, finds himself in trouble with the law after dining and dashing on four scorpion bowls. In keeping with the holiday spirit, the judge gives Davey one last chance at redemption: he can either spend the holiday performing community service as the assistant referee for the youth basketball league, or go to jail. Davey thinks he’s gotten off easy until he meets Whitey Duvall (also Sandler), the eccentric, elfin head referee. And while dodging Whitey (and adult responsibility) at every turn, he falls in love again with his childhood girlfriend Jennifer (Jackie Sandler, née Titone) who remembers the rocky way they parted. Nostalgia is a powerful force. Eight Crazy Nights, seen with fresh eyes and 2022 attitudes, would charitably be described as problematic. It’s full of upsetting portrayals of people with disabilities, Rob Schneider unfortunately voices a Chinese restaurant manager, and there’s enough scatological humor to fill a couple king-sized stockings. But it’s a seasonal favorite for a ton of people who grew up with it — and it’s not like White Christmas doesn’t have its own baggage. Hanukkah movies are thin on the ground. If Eight Crazy Nights reminds you of youthful innocent fun, come and have a good time. If you’ve never seen it, don’t expect to take it very seriously. Either way, all are welcome at Tampa Theatre.