Adam Sandler will shortly be seen in "Punch-Drunk Love", the eagerly anticipated new film from "Boogie Nights" director Paul Thomas Anderson. Until then, we will have to make do with the latest in a long line of oafish comedies that have made Sandler one of Hollywood's unlikeliest box-office draws.
Inspired by Frank Capra's 1936 classic "Mr Deeds Goes to Town", "Mr Deeds" casts Mr Sandler as a pizzeria owner from the small 'burb of Mandrake Falls who learns he has inherited $40 billion from a long-lost relative.
Whisked off to Manhattan, this unassuming schlub is immediately pounced upon by an ambitious reporter (Ryder), who goes undercover to get his story. He must also deal with a venal executive (Gallagher) keen to get his mitts on the Deeds Corporation.
If you've seen "Happy Gilmore", "The Waterboy" or any other of Sandler's astonishingly lucrative farces, you'll already know what to expect: goofy humour, slapstick violence, and a hefty dose of toe-curling sentiment.
The good news is "Mr Deeds" is a huge improvement on the lame, effects-laden "Little Nicky". Ryder brings much-needed class to the proceedings, Steve Buscemi turns up as a cross-eyed oddball, and John Turturro steals the picture as a Spanish butler whose sneakiness knows no bounds.
However, there's a price to pay for the guilty pleasure Steven Brill's film affords - a relentless process of dumbing down that tells the audience it's cool to be a doofus. If Sandler had his way, all comedies would be like this.