Adam Sandler stars in this updated version of director Frank Capra’s 1936 classic comedy Mr. Deeds Goes to Town. When a New York media mogul dies, the frantic search for his closest heir turns up a great-nephew, Longfellow Deeds (Sandler). A popular member of the small town of Mandrake Falls, New Hampshire, Deeds owns the local pizza parlor and writes poems he hopes will be used by Hallmark Cards. Although amazed by news of his forty billion dollar inheritance, Deeds remains rooted in his small town values. Chuck Cedar (Peter Gallagher), CEO of the media conglomerate is hoping to dazzle Deeds with New York high life long enough to buy out Deeds stock shares and own the company. And Babe Bennett (Winona Ryder), reporter for a local tabloid television wants to know more about the mysterious benefactor of the mogul’s estate. Pretending to be Pam Dawson, a school nurse from a small town in Iowa, Babe dates Deeds and learns more than she wanted to know. In fact, she discovers his honesty and good acts are the real thing, which challenges her idea about truth. Emilio (John Turturro), long time valet for the mogul, helps Deeds discover more about his great-uncle, but it’s Babe that turns up the real surprise. A new generation will enjoy this humorous contrast of values.
MR. DEEDS is not without problems. Although Deeds punches one man and apologizes himself for using vulgar language in front of women, the offending obscenity turns up at least 14 times. Deeds also punches other people to correct their manners. One scene shows a man showering and rubbing soap on his bare posterior. And a running joke concerns Deeds’ black foot from frostbite and its lack of feeling. Although well-intentioned MR. DEEDS loses ground to vulgar language, unneeded nudity, and violent manners correction.