`Little Nicky’ A laughing matter

After observing the success of Adam Sandler's previous films, one can safely rely upon this rule: You can never underestimate his ability to give absolute idiocy a hilarious and marketable outcome.

This principle is once again proven true in his latest comedy, "Little Nicky," which opened Nov. 9. Director Steve Brill (“Heavyweights”) has created one of the most bizarre and ambitious comedies in recent memory. Some people will agree that “Little Nicky” is one of the most ridiculous films ever concocted, but if you've learned to appreciate contemporary humor, you'll agree it's also one of the funniest.

It is apparent that not everyone is accustomed to the potty-humor and the lack of sophistication that younger audiences demand, and it's easy to criticize the movie. The plot is as silly as they come: The chicken-chompin', speech-slurrin' title character Nicky is on a mission to save the world from a pair of renegade demons who have the ability to possess humans. Luckily, a gay roommate, two dopey rockers and a talking bulldog are along to help him on his quest.

Nicky then realizes that he must pull together all of his inner strength (and special effects) to defeat his evil brothers. As you can see, the fine line that exists between nonsense and originality is thoroughly straddled.

Sandler is but one of many humorous actors in "Little Nicky." The "you-name-it, they're-in-it" cast is quite beneficial to the movie, though many may view it as a sign of desperation. Countless celebrities (Dana Carvey and Rob Shneider, to name a couple) pop in and out of the screen. Fans of previous Sandler flicks will have fun seeing characters from "The Wedding Singer," "Waterboy" and "Happy Gilmore" appear. As the film progresses, you will find that there is not one character, nor one scene, in which a sense of sanity can be anchored. In the screwball comedy genre, this movie dares to go all the way.

"Little Nicky" definitely doesn't lean on satire, and subtlety is not at all present. It will expect you to laugh at things such as children swearing and wheelchair-bound men rolling down a hill, crashing into a tour bus. Besides nefarious one-liners, sight gags are the only other source of humor. The extensive use of special effects (mostly computer-generated images) seemed unusual in a film of this caliber.

"Little Nicky" is a lot of things, but when all is said and done, here is the overall consensus: Recommending an Adam Sandler film to a large crowd is foolhardy. The demographic group of mature moviegoers is too large to advise any random sample of people to attend this movie. If you are one of these enlightened "higher beings" who scorn such low forms of humor, then by all means go see "The Legend of Bagger Vance." For those who don't need a nap, you'll enjoy every solitary minute of "Little Nicky," a truly phenomenal film.