Fish and Cherries Productions

Creative content from a mad mind.


Reel Snippet – Murder Mystery

When you need a detective, but all you’ve got are these guys…

Summary: Nick Spitz (Adam Sandler) may tell his wife Audrey (Jennifer Aniston) that he’s a detective, but the truth is that he’s a Brooklyn beat cop who failed the detective’s exam three times in a row. After a heated argument, Nick lays another lie down  another lie: that he’s finally taking her on that trip to Europe he promised her 15 years ago. On the plane, Audrey meets a wealthy lad named Charles Cavendish (Luke Evans) who takes a shine to them and invites them onto his yacht. On the yacht, they meet a cast of colorful characters as they bear witness to billionaire Malcolm Quince (Terrance Stamp) who announces his plan to cut all of them out of his will… just before the lights goes out and he’s mysteriously murdered. Everyone has motive, but the authorities suspect Nick and Audrey because, let’s face it, they’re pretty out of place among a group of wealthy socialites. So naturally, they’ve got to clear their name, sort their own lives out, and untangle this whole sordid affair.

Review: Murder Mystery is a Happy Madison movie, which would normally tell you everything you need to know about it… but it’s actually really good! I was not expecting that! None of Happy Madison’s repeat offenses rear their ugly heads here: no lowest common denominator humor, no ugly stereotypes (save for some American tourists, but that’s a low-hanging fruit), and no asinine attempts to make Sandler’s character into some kind of flawless superman. It’s great that it lacked the bad attributes, but the fact that it was good on its own is a phenomenal treat.

The movie calls itself Murder Mystery and it truly lives up to the name because it feels like a classic Agatha Christie story. I’m not just talking about the plot, but the music and cinematography draw you into the intrigue as the cast of suspects are a veritable who’s-who of mysterious individuals with skeletons in their closet. All this makes it even more hilarious just how out of place our everyman couple is in the whole affair. Speaking of whom, our two leads have great bickering chemistry that makes it believable that they’ve been a couple for years, though there were times that I felt the bickering detracted from certain scenes. Still, it’s a very sweet irony that the responsibility of solving the case falls into the laps of a failed detective and a fan of murder mysteries, so that adds a layer of humor to every situation.

This is one of those times where explaining why the movie works doesn’t do it justice — it just does! It may not be high art, but I daresay it’s the best Happy Madison movie I’ve ever seen, devoid of ego and willing to play smarter than just “hey, here’s an old lady with naked, saggy breasts, please laugh at it.” It seems like Sandler worked through whatever he was going through since I started reviewing him in Pixels, so I’m surprised to say that I’m curious to see where he’s gonna go next. Is he as good as he was in The Meyerowitz Stories or his Brooklyn Nine-Nine cameo? Maybe not quite that good, but he and his are trying and that alone is enough for me to say Christmas came early. I hope that it’s a sign that Happy Madison audiences are demanding more and that Sandler is willing to step up.

Fun Tidbit: Well, it wouldn’t be a Sandler movie if someone he knew in real life wasn’t in the movie. In this case, his wife, Jackie Sandler, plays a flight attendant on the flight to Europe.

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