A change of pace for Sandler

by Martin Hafer

The Cobbler is a new film that is taking a lot of abuse. It has a very low score on the major movie sites and many of the critics dislike it. Perhaps some of this is because Adam Sandler has done a lot of films lately which have tanked at the box office. However, I found it to be a decent film.

McCarthy’s effort is a very odd change of pace for Sandler. It’s mildly funny and I would much more describe it as a light comedy-drama–definitely not a comedy. So, I am sure many folks who see the film will expect to see him a play loudmouth or bizarre character like he has in many of his pictures–and they will most likely be disappointed. Instead, Sandler plays a very ordinary man. He’s a Jewish shoe repairman in New York who hasn’t a wife and his only family is his elderly mother. His job is repetitive and he has no particular plans for the future.

The Cobbler
Co-Written & Directed by
Thomas McCarthy
Adam Sandler, Dan Stevens, Steve Buscemi
Release Date
13 March 2015
Martin’s Grade: B

One day, a nasty character comes into the repair shop demanding his shoes be fixed fast … or else. But a very odd thing happens when Max Simkin (Sandler) tries to fix the shoes–his machine breaks. So, he fixes the shoes using an old family stitching-machine which they’ve owned for generations. He impulsively decides to try on the shoes himself and instantly he looks exactly like the owner of the footwear! As an experiment, Max tries stitching some other shoes with this same machine and once again, he looks exactly like the owners. Obviously the machine possesses some sort of magic. Now this could result in the guy resorting to a life of crime, but he ends up instead having an adventure…one that is just about impossible to predict!

As I mentioned above, the film probably won’t appeal to people wanting a goofy, typical Adam Sandler film. It also only has a few laughs here and there–so many other folk might dislike the film simply because it doesn’t meet their expectations. It’s small feel and lack of the usual clich├ęs and pretenses made me happy. I didn’t always believe the story and a few times it seemed even more improbable…yet it remained enjoyable. I guess it didn’t hurt that the film had an amazing supporting cast, which included Fritz Weaver (still going strong and acting at 89), Dustin Hoffman, Ellen Barkin and Steve Buscemi (who has actually been in quite a few of Sandler’s films). It also didn’t hurt that the film allows Sandler a chance to play a quieter and easier to like guy.