Don’t Mess With The Zohan

Dear readers, I’m about to do you a great service. I have gone to see “Don’t Mess With The Zohan” so you don’t have to.

The film was recommended by A.O. Scott (or so says my mother whom I’m no longer sure I believe on that fact) so we went to see it last night.

Good things:

  • The music was good. The music was mostly provided by Israels top rap/pop group, Hadag Nachash, of whom I’m a big fan. it was nice to see them get their big Hollywood coming out party in this movie.
  • The houmous jokes were great. Over the course of the movie, uses for houmous get increasingly ridiculous. One of the first shots of the movie is Zohan dipping some pita in a jar of houmous. From there, someone dips his glasses in houmous and licks them. One person puts a dollop of houmous in his coffee. By the end of the movie, houmous has been used as toothpaste and a hair styling product.
  • It has a nice, if elementary school-level message about mideast peace.
  • Zohan’s Israeli friend in New York, Ori, is a spot-on exact replica of everything I find funny and strange about Israeli men.
  • In Zohan’s Tel-Aviv apartment, there’s a huge black and white poster of Moshe Dayan.

Bad things:

  • It’s an Adam Sandler movie. It’s not like it’s a movie with Adam Sandler in it. It is actually an Adam Sandler movie.
  • Judd Apatow is involved in writing this thing. I really like Judd Apatow and I feel like this a real low for him.
  • I don’t want to see elderly Jewish women have sex with Adam Sandler repeatedly.
  • Because it’s an Adam Sandler movie, Rob Schneider has to play a would-be terrorist.

Remaining questions:

  • Why is George Takei in this film?
  • Why is Mariah Carey in this film?
  • Why is John Turturro in this film?
  • Who, in Hollywood, thought this was a good idea?
  • After having seen yet another trailer for that Mike Meyers love guru movie thing, I’m left wondering what had happened in Hollywood. Have the writers all been replaced with monekys valiantly trying to produce Hamlet?

12 Responses to Don’t Mess With The Zohan

  1. Evan June 11, 2008 at 11:01 am #

    I happen to have loved Don’t Mess With the Zohan.

    Admittedly, the first half was a lot funnier because many of the Israeli jokes started to drag.

    But the Hezbollah Hotline!? Comedic Genius!

    p.s. We are watching the BSG half-season finale together on friday. And I am pumped.

  2. Glenda June 11, 2008 at 11:48 am #

    A. O. Scott, who was previously a reliable informant, says this: “Let me be blunt: “You Don’t Mess With the Zohan” is the finest post-Zionist action-hairdressing sex comedy I have ever seen.”

    He does admit that it’s a limited genre, however, he seems to think there should be more of them. Based on this one, I’d have to say that one is plenty.

  3. Harold June 11, 2008 at 12:37 pm #

    Not a genre I was previously familiar with.

  4. davidamwilensky June 11, 2008 at 3:31 pm #

    Evan- Yes, yes, and yes.

    Glenda- Agreed.

    Harold- It’s unfortunate, but apparently it’s now true.

  5. Rich June 11, 2008 at 10:40 pm #

    If it could have lacked th sex, it would have been good. As it is, I feel like I know more than anyone ought to about Sandler’s fantasy life. My wife describes it as a farcical counterpart to Walk on Water.

  6. davidamwilensky June 11, 2008 at 11:48 pm #

    Rich- You know, I hadn’t thought of the Walk on Water comparison, but that’s an interesting connection.

  7. Brent June 12, 2008 at 1:06 am #

    Speaking of Hamlet, have you seen the previews for Hamlet 2? Check it out on YouTube, it looks amazing.

  8. David A.M. Wilensky June 12, 2008 at 8:15 am #

    Brent- that looks amazingly stupid. In the good way.

  9. BZ June 19, 2008 at 1:07 pm #

    The hummus jokes would have been great if they weren’t using Tribe of Two Sheiks! No real Israeli would touch that.

  10. David A.M. Wilensky June 19, 2008 at 7:55 pm #

    True fact, BZ!

  11. ozniablog June 24, 2008 at 8:32 pm #

    Check out this new interview with Shaanan Street of HaDag Nachash:

  12. patrick July 1, 2008 at 4:03 pm #

    Adam Sandler is classic in his own way, though he tends to do his best work when he stays casual, not trying too hard to be funny or deep, etc.