“You Don’t Mess” With the Sandler

In his new movie, Adam Sandler plays an ex-Israeli Mossad agent who moves to New York to be a hairdresser. (Hi, and welcome back to “Movie Plots Created by Mad Libs.”) It’s called “You Don’t Mess With the Zohan.” I’m not sure why “Zohan” is a funnier name than, say, “Dudu,” but if they think “Zohan” will play better in Peoria, who am I to disagree?

As some of you know, I have a bee in my bonnet about the fact that Sandler gets $50 million per picture. (Actually it’s true, I’m just jealous of people who never have to worry about money.) And every time I suggest that celebrities might hold the answer to the world’s economic problems, I get yelled at. This despite Brad Pitt’s donating $5M to building 150 green homes in the 9th Ward section of New Orleans, noting that it’s basically an “adopt-a-house” campaign, since $150,000 will get a family back into their home. But think, if Sandler donated half of his salary from this movie to the children of Israel who live under daily threat of rocket fire, how much of a difference would that make?

In any case, Sandler certainly got his “Mossad swagger” right. (Although squint at the picture and the dude could double Ben Affleck, which is odd.) The film was written by Sandler, Robert Smigel (Triumph’s alter ego) and comedy wunderkind and my personal comedy lord and savior, Judd Apatow. (Seriously, is there anything awesome that this guy is NOT connected to?)

And the trailer’s got two really good laughs that inspires hope that there are more jokes in the movie. Plus, I think I hear Hadag Nachash in the background. So, who’s with me? No pressure to decide now: “You Don’t Mess With the Zohan” doesn’t arrive in theaters until June 2008. That’s right, JUNE.

Too early to start campaigning for a Jewlicious premiere screening? So I could get to meet Judd So that all of us could revel in an Israeli main character beyond “Munich” (and the Apatovian discussion thereof in “Knocked Up”)?

Esther Kustanowitz

For more posts by Esther, see EstherK.com, MyUrbanKvetch.com and JDatersAnonymous.com.


  1. Chutzpah

    12/18/2007 at 8:51 am

    E- THANKS for the trailer, I watched it 5 times….this is too too too funny…I can’t wait !

    However, I’m HIGHLY concerned about how much Adam’s character turned me on. No more Tyrese fantasies for me. I am strictly an IDF fetishist from now on. I need to get myself into Krav Maga class!

  2. Benji

    12/18/2007 at 8:54 am

    Yep, that’s Hadag Nachash with “Hinei Ani Ba.”

  3. Esther

    12/18/2007 at 11:35 am

    Chutzpah, it was bound to happen to you sooner or later. An IDF counterterrorist who can also do hair? At least your back to intrafaith fetishizing, which will make someone happy.

    Thanks, Benji, for your superhuman hearing…so glad they’re using authentic Israeli music instead of just, um, Hava Nagila.

  4. ofri

    12/18/2007 at 1:53 pm

    Shame, Apatow was on a roll for a while there.

    What’s with the accent? It sounds like Mustafa meets Cajun Man.

  5. Sarah

    12/18/2007 at 2:18 pm

    Esther, with that kind of salary, one can understand how many teens dream of making it big in the film industry. Then again, you’ve got to be short to fit the ideal format. (I’m taller than Brad Pitt and George Clooney, go figure…)

  6. Hila

    12/18/2007 at 5:06 pm

    Why foreign accents in Hollywood movies are always so bad? I find it to be very distracting.

  7. Giyoret

    12/18/2007 at 5:38 pm

    I couldn’t sit through a whole movie with that accent. He should have invested $5000 of his own money for a speech coach.

  8. Brad A. Greenberg

    12/18/2007 at 7:09 pm

    Sandler’s accent sounds more Borat than Israeli.

  9. not interested

    12/18/2007 at 8:30 pm

    It’s going to suck big time. Sandler is overated just like Apatow, the shiksa worshipping self-hater. The movie looks pathetic.

  10. ramon marcos

    12/18/2007 at 9:39 pm

    I wonder if Sandler is confused now that Lieberman has endorsed McCain over Sandler’s guy Guiliani?

  11. Oyster

    12/19/2007 at 1:28 am

    This just might make up for “8 Crazy Nights”…

  12. Esther

    12/19/2007 at 3:39 am

    Agreed, Sandler’s accent needs work. But I’d be happy to coach him for “Zohan 2: Male Gigolo,” or whatever. And I’m not giving up on Apatow. I’m in stubborn-crazy-comedy-love.

  13. ALG

    12/19/2007 at 3:44 pm

    God, what an awful accent. He sounds like he’s vaguely imitating a French accent. Poorly.

    And the movie itself doesn’t look that good to me, either. The premise is interesting and maybe the movie is funnier than the trailer? (I get that I may be in the minority here.)

  14. Count Raffulon

    12/19/2007 at 4:39 pm

    I can NOT wait for copious amount of offensive cultural stereotypes in the film – especially the ones about Arabs.

  15. ck

    12/19/2007 at 6:23 pm

    Hadag Nachash’s song “Hinei Ani Bah” translates into…

    “Here I come.”

    Just sayin’ is all…

  16. Mia

    12/20/2007 at 2:48 am

    They should of called it “Don’t mess with the Dudu” or Dudi, at least.
    What kind of a name is Zohan.
    It’s not even a name.

  17. Chutzpah

    12/21/2007 at 12:17 am

    He worked on his biceps more than his accent…an actor can’t always prepare perfectly for a film even for $50 million. He made right choice, the biceps were much more important. Oh that thrusting on the helicopter!!!

    A straight man who can do hair…you are all too young to remember Warren Beatty in Shampoo, but yeah…free hair styling before sex would be the ultimate foreplay, likewise for afterplay. Imagine highlights before and a blowout and flat iron afterwards….mmmmm!

    I’m glad my fantasy life will get the “Jewish Mother Seal of Approval”, but in real life Chutzpah needs a vacation to Tel Aviv. I hear that if you can’t get laid in Israel, you can’t get laid in a brothel.

  18. Chutzpah

    12/21/2007 at 12:36 am

    I’m missing this Hebrew song of which you all speak. Alll I hear is Pump Up the Jam by
    I don’t want a place to stay
    Get your boody on the floor tonight
    Make my day
    I don’t want a place to stay
    Get your boody on the floor tonight
    Make my day

    Where is it exactly?

  19. Sarah

    12/21/2007 at 12:38 am

    Chutzpah, go for Eilat, but pack contraceptives.

  20. Chutzpah

    12/21/2007 at 5:30 pm

    ok…heard Henei Ani Ba.

    As for my real life Eilat vacation…which Jewish 501(c)(3) sponsors trips to the Holy Land for middle-aged divorcees to go support the IDF? Suggestions anyone?

  21. Chutzpah

    12/23/2007 at 1:14 pm

    Adam Sandler in the Tom Jones goatee… can anyone possibly get any hotter?

    Check out the official website for Zohan for a really clever sweepstakes promotion to win a chance to be an animated character in the Zohan comic series!

    Did anyone (in addition to Esther of course) catch the IDF character on Nip/Tuck this week?

    It seems that both Matty and I will be having our IDF fantasies, and that Israeli soldiers are fast becoming American pop culture’s newest obsession!

  22. Da'av

    1/1/2008 at 12:18 pm

    Thank you Adam! My daughter just finished her service in the IDF, and is a New Hampshire native—so many coincidences. I love the Ha’dag Nahash song, but not their politics and hope Adam decides to balance the music with a little Subliminal/TACT family music too. I hope to be sitting in the theater in the Migdal Opera in Tel Aviv watching it this summer!

  23. Esther

    1/2/2008 at 12:41 am

    Speaking of Subliminal/TACT family, stay tuned for some exciting announcements. I have it on good authority that excitement is on the horizon. I’ve already said too much. More info to come.

  24. ck

    1/2/2008 at 1:17 am

    Oh those of us who know, already know… know what I mean Esther? Heh… caint hardly wait!

  25. Da'av

    1/2/2008 at 9:37 am

    News about TACT family Esther? Please tell……it;s my 49th birthday tomorrow and I missed seeing them in NYC on the 24th, so any good news would be great! my email is alsatian5[at]aol[dot]com, thanks!

  26. froylein

    1/2/2008 at 10:14 am

    Da’av, I’ve changed the format of your email address so you won’t get spammed. Hope that’s ok with you.

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