Comfortable and Furious

Little Nicky (2000)

Of this I am certain — Little Nicky is either the worst movie ever made, or the best commercial for Popeye’s Chicken yet released. I’d opt for the first option every time (as I hate Adam Sandler with a murderous rage eclipsed only by my loathing of the sound of young children at play), but there is no denying that in a career full of product placements and corporate whoring, Little Nicky shills, shucks, jives, and performs backflips for the taste of that good ol’ fried chicken. I’ll have to work from memory here, but I recall at least six verbal mentions of the product, at least three more on-screen appearances of Popeye’s containers, and a few more references that were some form of “Popeye’s is fucking awesome!”

Why Popeye’s would want “fucking” associated with their elegant cuisine is beyond
me, but apparently they know their target audience better than I do. I might be mistaken, but I don’t believe Sandler visits an actual Popeye’s establishment, but he more than made up for that omission with his extended visits to Subway and Wendy’s in two of his other atrocities. At least we know what Sandler fans are most likely to eat
while they waste away not reading.

This time around, Sir Sandler plays the child of Satan, who is sent to Earth to capture a demon who has his eyes on the Big Chair in Hell. Or something like that. Nicky ascends to the surface, meets up with a talking dog, moves in with a typical Sandleresque gay man (i.e. every ounce the homophobic stereotype), and falls in love with a member
of the Arquette family. Of course, Sandler has a speech impediment, this time as a result of being hit in the head with a shovel.

He also has a deplorable haircut, and insists on wearing a thick coat throughout. And did I mention the two heavy metal dolts he befriends? Being fans of hard rock, the two (of course) worship the devil and love the idea that they have met a child of the Prince of Darkness. Add to that Reese Witherspoon as Nicky’s mother, a curious role given that she resides in heaven. And before I forget, Ozzy shows up at the end for no apparent reason, and Quentin Tarantino provides a cameo as a street preacher that sets new standards for, well, Quentin Tarantino cameos.

It is difficult to imagine — but nonetheless true — that Tarantino is worse than the rest of the cast, but I’m sure you knew that already. Nicky continues to get “killed,” sent back to hell, and brought back to the surface in order to fall in love, save his father, and yes, sire a few children of his own. It is all decidedly unfunny of course, with one of the most laugh-free screenplays ever penned. Not a chuckle, not a guffaw; not even a smirk. It makes perfect sense that I saw this testament to human depravity at the dollar theater in my old stomping grounds of Thornton, for what better way to experience bad cinema than with people who feel they are in the presence of art? If at any time in my life I begin to think the human race is worth saving, I will remember the day I saw Little Nicky and come face to face once again with my airtight case for mankind’s flame-filled eradication.

I should have been content with the fact that for a Sandler film, Little Nicky was a flop, but there are at least one million people who saw it, and I’m guessing at least half thought it was worthwhile. Imagine that staggering truth — there are no fewer than 500,000 Americans who loved this film. And a good percentage of those mouth-breathers most likely own the DVD! So, dear readers, many of whom talk endlessly about the “greatest country on earth,” you may write your essays and columns
about the Stars and Stripes, citing philosophers, historians, politicians, and even clerics. I, however, have these facts. Case closed.