Directed by Steven Brill, starring Adam Sandler, Winona Ryder, Peter Gallagher, Jared Harris, John Turturro and Steve Buscemi.

It's difficult to understand why anyone would want to remake the corny Frank Capra classic 'Mr Deeds Goes to Town'. Having said that, it's incomprehensible that anyone should think that Adam Sandler is in any way, shape or form capable of even licking Gary Cooper's feet, never mind taking his role in what the directors call a "loose adaptation" of the 1936 original.

The basic setup is still the same - Longfellow Deeds (Sandler) lives the good life in small townville, New Hampshire. A humble but friendly person, he owns the local pizzeria and recites his greeting card 'poetry' to the happy patrons but little does he know that he is the only surviving relative of billionaire business man Preston Blake.

Whisked off to the big city, innocent little Deeds is suddenly swimming with sharks, chief amongst them evil corporate executive Chuck Cedar (Gallagher, hamming it up). Cedar's got a plan to break the company up and sell it off for a huge profit - but at the cost of hundreds of jobs.

Meanwhile, tabloid journalist Babe Bennett (Ryder) has been sent by her sleazy boss to get the inside scoop on New York's most eligible bachelor. Posing as a smalltown girl and damsel in distress, Bennett succeeds in seducing Deeds - only to fall for him for real. Will Deeds figure out what Cedar is up to? Will he get the girl in the end? Will they live happily ever after? Has Adam Sandler got an incredible propensity for picking moronic movies? You're well capable of figuring the answer out for yourself.

Add in plenty of slapstick violence, the odd profanity or twenty and some very unfunny jokes and you've got your typical Adam Sandler film. 'Mr Deeds' is stricken with large doses of cringeworthy sentimentality which are somehow even worse than the so-called comedy - at least when Sandler's being crass he's being honest.

A stilted cameo from John McEnroe as himself displays ample reason why he's best known as a tennis player but other supporting roles are more successful. John Turturro is in scene stealing form as Deeds' loyal butler. Steve Buscemi also puts in some infrequent appearances as a mad cross-eyed character who seems to have little to do with the plot but is still enjoying himself enormously. Winona Ryder, on the other hand, spends most of the film looking as if she has no idea why she's there, without even a modicum of chemistry with Sandler to rescue the situation.

'Mr Deeds' is pointless, crass, stupid and sentimental. Life is far too short.

Caroline Hennessy