Cinematic Releases: The Cobbler

Adam Sandler stars in this week's limited release, The Cobbler.

"Hooker shoes? Did someone
say hooker shoes?"

Mr. Sandler abandons all typical expectations with his new movie, The Cobbler

What could have turned into another saturated comedic fiasco ends up being the most restrained we've seen him in years. He's not playing the normal loony characters we've grown accustomed to and he shows no signs of being annoying or grating. The Cobbler gives Sandler a chance to finally redeem himself in the struggle to rebuild his career as an actor that's more focused on left of center dramatic roles that have a modern, sometimes cynical edge. Much like his part in the abysmal Men, Women, and Children, Sandler is finally showing signs that he might finally grow up and become a real actor with more mature leanings. 

The Cobbler is a fantastical movie that's reminiscent of many other magical stories like the wonderful Brass Teapot. This is a sentimental story that leans heavily on the structure of its morality tale while mixing escapist cinema into a fun and mystical adventure. If anything, this is one of the sharpest things Sandler has done in years. The Cobbler takes potential real life situations and perfectly melds them into a modern day fairy tale of one cobbler's magical adventures in the heart of New York. It may not be perfect, but with the help of a supporting cast that features Dan Stevens, Ellen Barkin, Steve Buscemi, and Method Man, The Cobbler is a heartfelt ninety minutes that returns Sandler to a respectable place as an actor. 

"Ooooh a gun!!! I could end it
right now. No more Grown Ups movies!!!
Perhaps the story is a bit derivative and doesn't break any new ground. But, The Cobbler does not deserve the critical backlash its receiving. It currently stands at a lowly 8 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and has been raked over the coals by critics en masse. They all fail to see that Sandler is finally trying to escape the grind of the terrible comedies he's been putting out for decades. The Cobbler shows forward momentum for Sandler and is a definite step in the right direction for an ailing career that was centered on dim witted humor and predictable potty mouthed scenarios. 

With The Cobbler, Sandler may not get the respect he deserves but it's nice to see him trying to do something different. He looks older, acts more mature, and has a great time with this smaller release. If you're looking for an average watch that pits Sandler in an epic battle to reclaim his career, check this one out. You might be pleasantly surprised.