the state of things

 

Don't Mess With You Don't Mess With The Zohan

by Douglas Lindsay - 09:45 on 22 September 2008
Rubbish Parents Take Kids To Completely Inappropriate Film Shock. I’m no stranger to taking the kids to the cinema to see something they probably ought not to at their age. When all the kids films are dubbed into the local language, generally you have to stretch the parameters. I draw the line at Saw IV and Hostel perhaps, but anything with a 12 certificate is usually fair game. I am also occasionally suckered in by the trailer.

Nearly happened with Wanted. From the trailer Wanted looked like any old action movie, not unlike Jumper perhaps, from earlier in the year, which the kids had been to and enjoyed. As it turned out, Wanted was only similar to Jumper in that it was total mince. Fortunately we checked it out first, realised it was an 18 with more blood than Terry Butcher had on his face in that game against Tunisia, and the kids never got anywhere near it. A load of utter nonsense, anyway. All that loom stuff. A loom? And Angelina Jolie? What were you doing making a film that encourages young men who are bored at work and who haven’t achieved anything with their life, to pick up a gun and start shooting people? That’ll be the UN Ambassador in you.

So this weekend’s disaster was You Don’t Mess With The Zohan. The most cringe-inducing hour TPCKAM and I have sat through in parenthood. We left long before the end of the movie, but long after we ought to have done. Kept thinking/hoping that the scenes of outrageous sexual innuendo would end shortly and they’d get back to the Israeli/Palestinian gags. (Like you take your kids to the cinema for the cutting edge Middle Eastern humour.) But you know you’re in the wrong movie with your kids when you’re hoping that the terrorists are going to turn up and start shooting, just to get away from the sex.

However, the innuendo kept going. I think we were both probably embarrassed walking past a packed cinema, our kids in tow. Here we were, the obviously rubbish parents, with the eyes of the audience on our backs, judging us for being irresponsible enough to have taken them there in the first place. Finally, however, we put the innocence of our kids ahead of our own mortification and left. Not before time.

Fortunately, conversations since have indicated that they didn’t really get any of it. That would be conversations which they started. TPCKAM and I instantly went into denial and pretended that we’d never been to the cinema. No way were we starting any conversations. "So kids, when the white shampoo dribbled out the bottle onto the woman’s tongue, you know what that meant?" No, heads in the sand from now on, and get in the queue for Bambi 3. "Zohan? Don’t know what you mean. Nope, don’t remember any film with no stinkin’ Zohan."

So there are two things about You Don’t Mess With The Zohan. The first is that it’s my own dumb-witted stupidity that we took the kids. That wasn’t Adam Sandler’s fault. The second thing, which is attributable to Adam Sandler, is that the film is really, really dreadful.

I suppose it takes balls the size of Zohan’s to make a puerile comedy about the Arab/Israeli conflict, but good movies are not made by large balls alone.

Not any more.

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