Before Christmas Day Comes Eight Crazy Nights
Ah Holiday movies, everyone loves holiday movies, unless you are a Scrooge of course. In the grand old tradition Hollywood delivers a Christmas package for us this
year. Move over Mr. Scrooge, we have a new Bah Humbug man out of Hollywood. That's right the new Scrooge is Adam Sandler as
Davey Stone. This is an animated feature drawn in the traditional old hand method; no computer animation for Mr. Sandler's feature.
This is Sandler's baby and he performs the voices for the three lead characters as well as overseeing production. As well as Davey (Yes
the character is drawn to resemble Adam Sandler), Sandler voices the other two leads, Whitey and his sister Eleanore. Oops, I forgot he
voices a deer as well. Putting aside some of the more risque jokes this is an excellent and entertaining film for adults and older children.
I enjoyed it so much that I've already seen it twice and you will probably do the same.
"I hate you, I hate me. This time of year sucks."
Davey Stone is a sad and lonely man and he likes it that way. He lives in a trailer outside of the town of Dukesberry where he terrorizes
the townfolk with his drunkeness and rudness. He is a man loved by no one even himself. Davey has a tortured past that left him as this
embittered and resentful young man. Can he be saved during the eight crazy nights of Hanukkah?
"Doesn't it make your heart good when a herd of deer help a stranded motorist."
One man, an old, ready to retire basketball referee may be his only salvation. On the first night of Hanukkah 33 year old Davey is arrested
and ends up in front a frustrated Judge who has had enough of his drunken antics. The judge, ready to send him to jail for a few years, is
petitioned by Whitey Duvall to give Davey one last chance. Whitey wants to use him as an assistant referee for the children's basketball
games. Davey was the best and still is, basketball player in town, and Whitey hopes to salvage this hostile young man by having him
around his favourite sport. The judge agrees but if Stone does not change he will go to jail.
"One Davey Stone around here is enough."
True to form Davey stays rude and belligerent and resents Whitey's efforts. At the first game he is supposed to referee he stands around
while the 70 year old Whitey does all the chasing around with his one club foot. He taunts and insults the children and even the
spectators. After the game, Whitey takes Davey to his mecca, the mall, the one place where Whitey is truly happy. Whitey is not well to
do and even though he can not afford much he enjoys window shopping. Something I personally hate, window shopping that is. Here Davey
is introduced to a mother and her son who run a Dunkin' Donut shop. She is very kind to Whitey and becomes seriously upset when Davey
treats Jennifer and her son, Benjamin, with disrespect and will not abide Davey being rude to her. Davey eventually
realizes that Jennifer was his girlfriend as a young boy.
"Unfortunately this fairy tale did not have a happy ending,"
As a young lad Davey was an incredibly talented basketball player and Jennifer was on his team. They were both two
happy children who really liked each other. Whitey remembers the fateful night he was the referee at the championship
game that Davey won. It was the last time Davey would every be happy again. From that day on Davey changed for the
worse. Whitey remembers it all and that is why he has taken an interest in helping the uncaring Stone. The writers
have put together an eternal optimist and the town deliquent together to give us a wonderful story of redemption. This
type of story is perfect for Christmas season, of course and it suceeded admirable in it's intent.
"Alright brother let's go win this thing."
Whitey is like Clarence from IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE of course, except that he is not an angel. The hairy, little club
footed old man is a sweetheart of a guy who only wants to help Davey believe in himself once again. He has spent his
entire life endulging his one passion, being a referee in children's sports and loves it even though the pay is
pathetic. Whitey will lend anyone a helping hand and likes everyone. When times are tough and money is tight he will
get up every morning and do all sorts fo odd jods for whatever pay he can get. Unfortunately for him most of the town
folk see him desire is to win the coveted Dukesberry All Star Patch that is is bestowed at this time of year to the
person whom the towns residents feel is the man of the year. Whitey hopes that this year he will win as he feels this
is his last chance since he will be retiring from his referee duties.
"Time to cry Davey."
In Davey, Whitey has a tough nut to crack. Davey Stone is a prime example of a worthless human being at least in his
own eyes. Whitey thinks he can change and it isn't until a practice basketball that we see some results. Three rather
rude men challenge Whitey, Davey and little Benjamin to a game of basketball. This is when we see just how good Davey
really is, not only in basketball but as teacher. After Whitey is knocked out Davey and Ben take on their opponents.
Instead of ignoring the young boy he helps him play and with Davey's instructions, Ben proves to be a great little
player. Davey becomes friends with Ben and starts to change.