January 22, 2008, - 2:15 am
By Debbie Schlussel
**** UPDATE #2, 06/06/08: Full Schlussel review column on Adam Sandler’s High Quality Bin Laden Cinema. Allahu Conditioner. ****
**** UPDATE, 05/29/08: Review: Zohan is horrid. What HAMAS/Hezbollah couldn’t do to Israel and Israelis, Adam Sandler did. ****
Readers may remember last summer, when I told you about Adam Sandler’s upcoming movie, “You Don’t Mess with the Zohan,” in which Sandler plays a Mossad agent, “the Zohan,” who fakes his own death to realize his dream of becoming a hairdresser in New York. But he can’t escape his former life and faces off with Islamic terrorist nemeses in the Big Apple. A reader with an inside scoop tipped us off to some of the content of the film (see more about that, below).
Well, the movie comes out in early June, and here is the trailer, which is hilarious (and the formerly scrawny, newly-buff Sandler has definitely toned those bicep “pipes” for the part). I could watch this all day long, since like most Sandler movies where the premise is genius but the execution awful, it’s probably way more funny than the actual movie itself. And that includes the hilarity of Sandler’s very bad Israeli accent (here’s a tip: native Israelis–called “Sabras“–say “Sehrty Sree” for “33”). Plus no Israeli I know–and I know many–uses “make the bang boom” as an epithet for sex. (I know, I know–“it’s a comedy.”)
Still, I’m hoping the movie is better than Sandler’s usual fare and hasn’t been “Chuck and Larry“‘d to death. That’s because when my late father was very sick with cancer, last summer, I told him about “Zohan,” and I saw him laugh and cheer up for the only time in a very sad time. He told me he wanted to see it. I told him, “See, Dad, you have to stick around, so you can go see it with me.”
The movie was written by Judd Apatow–of frat-boy humor movie sucess–Sandler, and Robert Smigel (who I admit does have a great, bawdy sense of humor as “Triumph the Insult Comic Dog”).
More about the plot. As I wrote back in June, originally it was reported that when Agent Sandler discovers that the Manhattan salon at which he works is owned by his Palestinian terrorist nemesis, he is pressed back into action. Now, it appears from the trailer, that its actually a cab driver, played by Rob Schneider who heads a terror cell and works for Hezbollah (which, as you know, is Lebanese, not Palestinian).
Reader Andrew, who is acquainted with one of the actors in the movie, told us:
In a comedic side plot, Sandler’s character keeps giving a fellow hair-stylist tips on how to pick up women, not realizing that his coworker is gay. My colleague’s brother plays the gay coworker. [DS: The Filipino in the trailer.]
But as Israeli reader and blogger Esser Agaroth writes:
Hairdressers do VERY well financially here in Israel. I don’t hear a lot of people laughing at hairdressers here, straight or gay. They’re the ones who laugh,…all the way to the bank. It’s not so far-fetched of a premise for an Israeli to dream of being a hairdresser.
I hope the movie doesn’t end with a predictably peacenik, anti-War message, as has been the case with the last two fictional Mossad movies I’ve seen, “Munich” and “Walk on Water.” We shall see. I expect better from Sandler than from Abu Spielberg. But the “I’m tired of fighting” line in the trailer is, as my Dad wrote two years ago, the talk we keep hearing from the entire Israeli left-wing capitulation team:
In a speech before the left-leaning “Israel Policy Forum,” in July 2005, Olmert stated, “We are tired of fighting, tired of being courageous, tired of victories, tired of defeating our enemies.”
With a guy like this leading the charge, can Israel survive? Doubtful!
And if you are wondering about the Hebrew disco song in the background of the trailer, that’s the same story and hopefully not an omen for the movie’s content. Although Adam Sandler is very pro-Israel (he donated Sony Playstations to Israeli children in cities hit by Hezbollah during 2006’s war) and more politically in the center than most in Hollywood (he donated to Giuliani for Prez), his choice of soundtrack artists is decidedly to the left. The far left.
The song, “Hinei Ani Ba” ["Here I Come"] (video below) is by the schlocky but popular left-wing Israeli hip-hop group, “HaDag Nachash” ["The Fish Snake"] (Israel’s version of Jamiroquai) and is about being torn between Tel Aviv’s discos and nightlife and Jerusalem’s Western Wall of the Jewish Temple, etc. In the end, they stick with the left-wing, secular death of Israel and capital of Jewish self-hatred a/k/a Tel Aviv. Although that’s more charitable to what’s actually going on in Israel–today, the Tel Avivnik lefties never even make it to a dilemma and don’t hang in Jerusalem at all, though they do leave Tel Aviv to leave Israel. And they don’t come back.
Hopefullly, “HaDag Nachash”‘s most famous song–“Shirat HaSticker” ["The Sticker Song"]–is not in this movie. Written by David Grossman–the Noam Chomsky of Israel–it is an attack on religious Jews and all Israelis who oppose giving up land to terrorists and rolling over for dead, calling them “evil.” Another song of theirs shows father of modern Zionism, Theodor Herzl, doing drugs. I wonder if Sandler knows anything about this group.
If HaDag Nachash were running Israel, all Mossad agents would have to look for work as hairdressers in New York. So would the rest of Israel’s entire Jewish and Christian populations.
Too bad Sandler didn’t choose the work of right-wing Israeli rapper Subliminal a/k/a Ya’akov “Kobi” Shimoni, a son of Jewish refugees from Muslim countries, for the movie. His songs– very popular with the IDF–and his views reflect my views:
When we talk politics with Arabs in Israel, they say, “My grandfather used to live in Tel Aviv, and now it’s owned by Jewish people — we want to come back.” I respond, “My parents came from Iran and Tunisia, but nobody is going to give our property back to us. It’s all been confiscated . . . We have this little sandbox we call Israel. We give our hearts and lives to make it a proud country. Every one serves in the Israeli Defense Force in order for Israel to survive. You have half of the globe. What the f*ck do you want from us? Go live in Saudi Arabia.”
My mother is from Mashad, Iran, where every Jewish girl was married by the age of seven, because if a Muslim asked for the girl’s hand and you said no, they would kill you. In Tunisia, my father grew up with his family locking all the doors and windows whenever performing a Jewish ceremony — out of fear of attacks.
Is the comedic Adam Sandler the guy who finally breaks Hollywood’s post-9/11 taboo of making Muslims terrorists and Israelis the good guys?
I’m not holding my breath, but I’m “keeping hope alive,” Jesse Jackson fake earnestness-style. I expect the same ole, same ole.
Exit Question: Just how much did Paul Mitchell pay for the controversial product placement? Attention, Muslims: New product to add to your boycott list and “Death to all those who insult Islam” riots. Attention, Paul Mitchell execs: Can’t wait for the CAIR sensitivity training seminars for gay hairdressers and new line of halal shampoos (for use every other month).
Tags: Adam, Adam Sandler, Ani Ba, bank, cab driver, cancer, Chuck, David Grossman, Debbie Schlussel Full Schlussel, HaDag Nachash, hairdresser, Hamas, High Quality Bin Laden Cinema, Hizballah, I, IDF, Islamic Republic of Iran, Israel, Israeli Defense Force, Jerusalem, Jesse Jackson, Jewish, Jewish Temple, Judd Apatow, Kobi, Larry, Mashad, Mossad, Munich, New York, Olmert, Paul Mitchell, rapper, Reader Andrew, Rob Schneider, Robert Smigel, Saudi Arabia, Shimoni, Sony, Subliminal, Tel Aviv, The Sticker Song, the Zohan, Theodor Herzl, Tunisia, Walk on Water, Western Wall, You Don't Mess With the Zohan