I finally saw Uncut Gems on Netflix and I do not get the hype. I was told it would be a cinematic adrenaline shot where I would have to constantly pause the film to remind myself to breathe. Based on the things I read Online, I told my wife, who finds Curb Your Enthusiasm stressful because of the situations Larry David gets into, that she would not be able to handle it. After watching it on my own? I think she would have been bored.
SPOILER WARNING: Don't read unless you've seen this movie or have no intention to watch it.
I was ready to let it go as maybe I just did not get the movie, but unprompted, a friend put this is a group message today and multiple people jumped in to say they had major issues with Uncut Gems.
I honestly don't know, completely devoid of context, if that one tweet is serious or sarcastic. I just know the movie is not that great. All credit to whomever invented rewatching movies, but I'm not sure if I will ever see this again. I'll certainly never play it on Netflix again.
That's not to say Uncut Gems wasn't a fine film. It was a fine film. Literally fine. It had good performances. It had a beginning, middle and end. There were shiny things to look at along the way. It was solid, but it was insanely overrated.
It's a decent movie about a bad person with a bad gambling habit. It had a great performance by Adam Sandler in one of this classic Serious roles which somehow makes films seem automatically Important.
Upon reflection, what I really don't get is jut how serious this gambling problem is. He seems more annoyed than worried about his potential debt collectors - one of whom is a family member. How does Howie afford a very fancy house within driving distance of New York City in what must be an affluent suburb somewhere and an also very nice apartment in New York City? Not to mention the fact that he's apparently supporting his very young, very attractive girlfriend. How does he do all this with a crippling gambling addiction? It has to be crippling. Why else would his own brother-in-law be coming after him with leg-breakers/throat-punchers/face-shooters?
The house is full of nice things. The apartment is well-furnished and well-stocked with enough to keep his girlfriend faithful. And then there is the jewelry store full of expensive jewelry. Perhaps he could have sold some of that and avoided some of his troubles?
Then there are the semi-cameos. You have Wayne Diamond - real name - who is on the helicopter with Sandler's girlfriend. You have the guy with the bad hair and fake Rolex. Mike Francesa plays a bookie. How do people from Cleveland to California react to Francesa's appearance? After spending a decade-plus online, I know that people outside the New York broadcast area either don't know who he is or do not care.
The only thing that saved this movie is that Sandler ended up dying in the dumbest possible way. By a frustrated leg-breaker who was obviously underpaid desite the fact that his entire job was hanging out with a buddy and punching people in the throat. Less than two minutes before Sandler got got I was really upset that the movie was going to let this A-hole get away with it. The fact that they packed a bigger A-hole into the movie to ruin everything was actually kind of satisfying. I thought he was going to have a happy ending and go back to... well, not really messing up everyone's lives. He just kind of was miserable? Thank God they can't make a sequel.