Eight Crazy Nights (also known as Adam Sandler's Eight Crazy Nights) is a 2002
American adult animated musical comedy-drama Hanukkah film directed by Seth Kearsley and produced, co-written by and starring Adam Sandler, in his first voice-acting role. The film is animated in the style of television holiday specials, and, unlike most mainstream holiday films, centers on Jewish characters during the Hanukkah season, as opposed to the Christian celebration of Christmas.
This is also Happy Madison Productions' first animated film. The film's title is taken from a line in Sandler's series of songs called The Chanukah Song that compares the gift-giving traditions of Christmas and Chanukah: "Instead of one day of presents, we get eight crazy nights!". Additionally, a new version of The Chanukah Song was played over the film's closing credits. It has been called the best known Hanukkah film.
In the small town of Dukesberry, New Hampshire, Davey Stone is a 33-year-old Jewish alcoholic troublemaker with a long criminal record, whose antics have long earned him the animosity of the community. Davey is arrested for refusing to pay his bill at Mr. Chang's Chinese restaurant, attempting to evade arrest ("Davey's Song"), stealing a snowmobile and destroying festive ice sculptures in the process. At Davey's trial, Whitey Duvall, a 70-year-old volunteer referee from Davey's former basketball league, intervenes. At Whitey's suggestion, the judge sentences Davey to community service as a referee-in-training for Whitey's Youth Basketball League. Under the terms of the community service, if Davey commits a crime before his sentence is completed, he will serve ten years in prison.
The next day, Davey's first game ends in disaster. After Davey causes disruptions along with tormenting one of the players, an obese kid for his Gynecomastia; Whitey suffers a grand mal seizure, and the game is abruptly brought to an end. Attempting to calm Davey down, Whitey takes him to the mall, where they meet Jennifer Friedman, Davey's childhood friend, and her son Benjamin. Although Whitey reminds him that he lost his chance with Jennifer twenty years earlier, Davey still finds himself attracted to her.
As time progresses, Davey and Whitey's relationship becomes more strained. Whitey's various attempts to encourage Davey are met with humiliation and assault - including but not limited to Davey knocking Whitey into a porta-potty and then spraying him when he falls out with a hose, causing Whitey to be frozen in defecation for several hours, before a group of grazing reindeer lick him out. Upon arriving home ("Long Ago"), Davey finds his trailer being burned down by a man who lost a basketball match to him earlier and was forced to chew on a jock strap. Davey runs into the burning trailer to rescue a Hanukkah card from his late parents, then watches the trailer burn down. Whitey opens his home to Davey, who reluctantly accepts the invitation; also living in the house is Whitey's diabetic fraternal twin sister Eleanore. The Duvall household has many complex rules, to which Whitey refers as technical fouls ("Technical Foul"). Despite this, Davey seemingly overcomes them, and begins to turn his life around.
However, Davey's progress in reforming comes to a halt when Whitey recalls the events of what happened two decades ago: En route to one of Davey's basketball games, his parents were killed in a car accident when a truck skidded on black ice and swerved into them, and Davey learned of their deaths when the police showed up at the end of his game to inform him. Devastated by the loss of his loving parents and leaping from foster home to foster home, Davey spent the next 20 years numbing his pain with alcohol and petty crime. Uncomfortable with this reminder of his tragic and painful childhood, Davey loses his temper and insults both Whitey and Eleanore. As a result, Whitey revokes Davey's privilege to reside at his home, much to Davey's relief.
Davey spends the rest of the day drinking, and later that night breaks into the mall, which is closed. In a drunken stupor, he imagines the logos of various stores coming to life and confronting him about his inability to grieve for his parents, which they identify as the source of his alcoholism ("Intervention Song"). He finally opens his parents' Hanukkah card, which contains a heartfelt message praising him for being a good son along with two photos, one of a young Davey and Jennifer at one of their basketball games and one with his late parents. Finally, coming to terms with his loss, Davey finally cries. Just then, the police arrive to arrest Davey, but he escapes and boards a bus to New York City, just as the police are searching for him across. En route, the bus is forced to stop when all eight tires are punctured by a single thumbtack in the road. Reminded of the Miracle of Hanukkah, Davey walks off the bus, intending to find Whitey and make amends with him.
Davey finds Whitey at the All-Star Banquet, an annual town celebration in which one member of the community is recognized for positive contributions to Dukesberry with the "Dukesberry All-Star Patch". Despite having vied for the award for over 35 years, Whitey is passed over for seemingly the final time. Heartbroken, he leaves, intending to move to Florida, where he can live out the rest of his life in anonymity. Risking arrest, Davey enters the hall and informs everyone of the selfless contributions that Whitey has made to Dukesberry over the course of his entire life. Ashamed, the townspeople acknowledge the error of their decision ("Bum Biddy"). Davey leads the people to Whitey, who has gone to the mall with Eleanore to "speak to it" one more time. The townspeople thank Whitey for his service over the years and the Mayor officially grants him the Patch Award. All 34 previous recipients of the awards give theirs to Whitey. Davey and Jennifer reconcile and begin a romantic relationship, and Whitey goes into a seizure, which he calls "the happiest seizure of my life!".
- Adam Sandler as Davey Stone/Whitey Duvall/Eleanore Duvall
- Jackie Titone as Jennifer Friedman.
- Alison Krauss as her singing voice
- Austin Stout as Benjamin Friedman, Jennifer's excitable 11-year-old son.
- Rob Schneider as The Narrator/Mr. Chang, a Chinese restaurant waiter.
- Kevin Nealon as Mayor Dewey, the Mayor of Dukesberry.
- Norm Crosby as the Judge.
- Jon Lovitz as Tom Baltezor, a competitor in the All-Star Banquet for the patch and the initial winner of it. He notably had no left hand, having lost it in a childhood accident and having a hook in its place.
- Store logos
- Dylan and Cole Sprouse as KB Toys soldiers
- Tyra Banks as Victoria's Secret gown
- Blake Clark as Radio Shack walkie-talkie
- Peter Dante as Foot Locker referee
- Ellen Albertini Dow as See's Candies box
- Kevin Farley as Panda Express panda
- Lari Friedman as The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf cup
- Tom Kenny as The Sharper Image chair
- Carl Weathers as GNC bottle
The film was animated by Anvil Studios, A. Film A/S, Bardel Entertainment, Goldenbell Animation, Marina Motion Animation, Spaff Animation, Tama Production, Time Lapse Pictures, Warner Bros. Animation, Y. R. Studio, and Yowza! Animation. It was the only animated film that Adam Sandler worked on until Hotel Transylvania in 2012, and remains the only traditionally-animated film to have his involvement.
Seth Kearsley revealed in an email to Doug Walker (The Nostalgia Critic) that certain elements of the movie that were notorious, specifically the feces-eating deer scene and even Whitey's voice (which was more higher-pitched and annoying), were intended to be cut, but were kept due to "focus groups" who had seen the film (who lowered Whitey's voice down), as well as the fact that the product placements were used without permission.
Eight Crazy Nights came in at fifth place on its opening weekend among U.S. box office, making only $14 million since its Wednesday launch. It only grossed a total of $23.6 million in North America and negligible foreign box office receipts, for a total of only $23.8 million worldwide. This made Eight Crazy Nights become a box office bomb, losing an approximate at lowest $10.5 million to up to $44.6 million.
The film received largely negative reviews. Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a rating of 12% and an average score of 3.1/10, based on 109 reviews, with the consensus saying "Sandler returns to his roots in this nauseating concoction filled with potty humor and product placements." Top film critic Roger Ebert gave the film two out of four possible stars and derided the movie's dour tone, saying that "The holidays aren't very cheerful in Sandlerville." However, on his review program, co-host Richard Roeper gave the film a "Thumbs Up!" Sandler won a Kids' Choice Award for Best Voice in an Animated Movie in 2003 and was nominated for the Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actor, along with Mr. Deeds.
Eight Crazy Nights was released November 4, 2003 on VHS and single- and two-disc edition DVD. The two-disc "special edition" features deleted scenes, several audio commentaries, and Sandler's short film "A Day with the Meatball", among other special features. A Blu-ray version of the film was released on December 13, 2016.