For those used to seeing Adam Sandler in cheeseball rom-coms, “Uncut Gems” might come as a shock. Directed by the Safdie brothers, the showrunners take a chance on having Sandler break from his usual archetype of goofball dude with a secret heart of gold. This dark comedy film has him playing a gambler with a dangerous side hustle. Caught between gambling, jeweling and womanizing, the comedic actor won’t be building syrupy waffle houses by the beach in this one.
If you’ve ever seen any of his comedies, then you’re probably accustomed to those little moments where he speaks in a low throaty voice and the scene ends just a second short of becoming ridiculously creepy. Imagine that ambiguous split-second moment as his entire character: his dry voice, unreadable expression and not-quite smirk, and you get Howard Ratner, his character in “Uncut Gems.”
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Howard is a high-class jeweler by trade and a high-stakes gambler by choice, and much like Jordan Belfort in “Wolf of Wallstreet,” he takes on every vice, from gambling to drugs while handling big cash because of his constant swindling. His wife, played by Idina Menzel, threatens to leave him as his gambling starts burying them under unpayable debt. How does he decide to fix his mistakes? By going hard and making the same bad decisions.
Howard decides to illegally smuggle rare opal and sell it underground, resulting in a series of problems and an increasingly dangerous web of crimes. Whether this ends like it did for Jordan Belfort, a sketchy man eventually finding his place in society as a self-help swindler, we have yet to see.
Check out the full trailer for “Uncut Gems” below.
Photo still from “Uncut Gems” official trailer