Release Date: 22 May 12A | 99 minutes Director: Thomas McCarthy Cast: Adam Sandler, Dan Stevens, Dustin Hoffman, Steve Buscemi, Melonie Diaz, Ellen Barkin
This is probably the least- awful film Adam Sandler has made in quite a while. That being said, it’s still not good. It’s not even in the arena of good. It’s cloying and trite and ridiculous, and the whole premise is predicated on the idea that “sole” and “soul” are interchangeable concepts and not just words that sound the same.
Max Simkin ( Sandler) is a cranky, world- weary fourth- generation cobbler in a quaint eastside New York neighbourhood that is being slowly gentrified, a process that is pushing out old codgers like himself and his next door neighbour, a wizened barber ( Steve Buscemi). One day Max is visited by a hostile thug ( Wu- Tang Clan rapper Method Man) who wants new soles for his alligator- skin shoes. Max’s usual rig goes on the blink, so he’s forced to use an old stitcher in the basement of his shop. Turns out it’s magic, and allows Max to take on the appearance of whoever the shoes he’s cobbling belong to – like said thug. He uses this new- found power to save the neighbourhood and perhaps even his own battered sole… sorry, soul.
It is entirely possible that the erstwhile Waterboy and Wedding Singer star believes there is some depth to this clunky fairytale, that some universal truth about life, the universe, and everything will somehow seep out of the mallet- tothe- skull obviousness of it all. He is mistaken. But at least he manages to refrain from babytalk in this one. Nicely shot it may be, but The
Cobbler is aggressively cornball. If the director could step into someone’s shoes, “It would be kinda cool to check out Putin. I want to see what that guy does…”
“What do you mean, you forgot the Odor Eaters?”