(R) 4 1/2 stars Adam Sandler, Emily Watson, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Luis Guzman. The highly anticipated collaboration between writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson (Boogie Nights, Magnolia) and the defiantly lowbrow comic Adam Sandler pays off in spades. The film glides and leaps and whirls - it is violent and lyrical, delicate and crude, with stylistic surprises galore. As the closing credits rolled, I sat in a happy stupor, grateful that people like Anderson and Sandler still can work magic with film.
The last thing I wanted to do was analyze the experience and I won"t do so here. I"m concerned, though, because, as the film reaches a wider audience, exit polls indicate that a lot of people absolutely hate it. My suggestion is that you utterly clear your head of expectations before entering the theater. If you"re an Adam Sandler fan, be aware that this is most definitely NOT a typical Sandler comedy. If you loathe Sandler, be aware that, while he gives a daring and naunced performance, he still is Adam Sandler. Drop your preconceptions and let this wonderful, odd movie knock you silly.