A string of bad comedies have plagued Adam Sandler in the last few years. The latest act from the funnyman, The Cobbler, is a slight step up from some of his past disastrous flicks. Sandler hopes to shake off his box office drought by turning The Cobbler into an emotional comedy and rub off the successes of similar films from him like “Reign Over Me”, “Spanglish”, “Click” and “Funny People”.
In the movie, Sandler takes on the role as a working class Jewish man in Lower East Side, Manhattan. A Jewish himself in real life, the movie allows him to highlight his Jewish heritage; from the use of the Hebrew language, customs and traditions to the movie soundtrack, the Jewish influences are evident.
A somber middle-aged cobbler who has taken over the shoemaking family business from his absent father, his dreary meaningless life encompasses getting talked down to by customers, taking care of his senile mother and making small talk with the neighbouring shop-owner, a concerned barber played by Steve Buscemi. His life took a dramatic turn when he finds an old shoe stitching machine used by his ancestors at the back of the shop. Wearing the shoes stitched by the machine allows him to magically transform into the owner of the pair of shoes.
The premise of the story brings a whole new meaning to “walking in ones’ shoes”. He could be a Chinese man one day and a British man (Emiliano played by Dan Stevens) the next. Dan Stevens, as charming as he is, wasn’t able to bring the sizzle to his role as a famous DJ. His character in the movie was rather dull and barely makes an impact.
The simple plot of the movie accentuated the movie’s lack of emotional connections. The actors were unable to exploit the various heart-wrenching moments and the movie falls short as an emotional masterpiece. But even though The Cobbler has holes in its overall message that desperately needs stitching, it still makes for a decent Sandler movie.
Cast: Dan Stevens, Adam Sandler, Steve Buscemi, Dustin Hoffman