Former funnyman Adam Sandler’s career spikes every few years or so. Making a name for himself through a string of genuinely funny flicks in the ’90s, he has recently settled into a malaise of terrible comedies (Grown Ups, Jack And Jill) that ensure he’ll never have to worry about bills ever again. Then, out of the blue he’ll deliver a corking performance (Punch Drunk Love) that hints at a sterling actor lurking beneath his shouty curmudgeon persona. The question is, which Sandler should we expect from The Cobbler?
For Thomas McCarthy’s latest, Sandler plays New York cobbler Max. A happy-go-lucky sort, he longs for more adventure in his life. Lo and behold, at that precise moment of realisation, he stumbles across a magical totem that enables him to slot into the lives of his customers. Yes, a clever play on stepping into someone else’s shoes. Of course, this means it may be more difficult to judge Sandler’s performance.
For the majority of the film when he “becomes other people,” those personas are in fact played by different actors; Ellen Barkin, Melonie Diaz, Dan Stevens, Fritz Weaver, Yul Vazquez, Steve Buscemi, and Dustin Hoffman are but some of that supporting cast.
Hitting the festival circuit earlier this year, the dramedy received mostly mixed reviews, including one from our own Sam Woolf who was not impressed and said the following:
“A true waste of time is a bad movie that’s entirely forgettable, so at least The Cobbler has the guts to be memorably awful at times.”
Whether or not the general public will agree with our verdict remains to be seen, and may not be as The Cobbler has yet to snag a release date. Until then, you can check out the first trailer, which echoes the sweet nostalgic side of Max’s scenario that just might tug on your heart strings.
Following in his father’s and grandfather’s footsteps, Max (Adam Sandler) runs a charming if rundown shoe repair shop on the Lower East Side of New York City. Happy being his own boss, Max nonetheless feels mired in his daily routine and yearns for something (or perhaps someone) he can’t name. One day, in the shop’s dusty basement, he stumbles across a forgotten family heirloom with magical powers that allow him to literally step into the lives of his customers.
Energized by the private thrill of slipping on different footwear and becoming transformed into its owner, Max soon recognizes that he has the power to mend more than shoes. But it’s another pair of shoes — and their nefarious owner — that steer Max into a life-and-death situation that he may not be able to walk away from.