Little Nicky

Little Nicky is a 2000 American fantasy comedy film directed by Steven Brill, written by Brill, Adam Sandler, and Tim Herlihy, and starring Sandler, Patricia Arquette, Harvey Keitel, Rhys Ifans, Tommy "Tiny" Lister Jr., and Rodney Dangerfield. The film depicts the son (Sandler) of Satan (Keitel) and an angel as he tries to save his father and prevent his demonic brothers (Ifans and Lister) from taking over Earth.

Little Nicky
Little nicky.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed bySteven Brill
Written bySteven Brill
Adam Sandler
Tim Herlihy
Produced byJack Giarraputo
Robert Simonds
Starring
CinematographyTheo van de Sande
Edited byJeff Gourson
Music byTeddy Castellucci
Production
companies
Distributed byNew Line Cinema
Release date
  • November 10, 2000 (2000-11-10)
Running time
90 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$80-85 million[1]
Box office$58.3 million[2]

The film received negative reviews from critics and was a box office bomb, grossing $58.3 million against an $80–85 million budget.

PlotEdit

With his 10,000 year reign coming to an end and after torturing Adolf Hitler by shoving a pineapple up his rump, Satan must decide which of his three sons will succeed him as ruler of Hell. Adrian is the most devious, Cassius is the cruelest, and Nicky is the kindest. Adrian and Cassius claim that Nicky's mother is a goat and torment him by controlling his body with their minds. Nicky has had a speech impediment and a disfigured jaw since Cassius hit him in the face with a shovel. Satan assembles his sons to tell them that they are not yet ready to succeed him as he will continue ruling Hell.

Angered by this decision, Adrian and Cassius travel to Earth to create a new Hell by possessing religious and political leaders in New York City. As they leave, they freeze the entrance to Hell, preventing more evil souls from entering and causing Satan to begin to disintegrate. To stop Adrian and Cassius, he sends Nicky to Earth with a silver flask that traps whoever drinks from it inside.

Nicky has difficulty surviving on Earth and he is killed several times, landing in Hell and returning to New York each time. While learning how to eat and sleep, he meets a possessed, talking bulldog named Mr. Beefy, rents an apartment with an actor named Todd, and falls in love with a design student named Valerie Veran. Nicky encounters Adrian, but fails to capture him and scares Valerie away. Nicky then observes Cassius on television possessing the referee of a Harlem Globetrotters game. Nicky arrives at the game and successfully tricks Cassius into the flask. Satanist metalheads John and Peter swear loyalty to Nicky. That evening, Nicky apologizes to Valerie and they reconcile.

The following day, Adrian possesses the Chief of the NYPD and accuses Nicky of mass murder. Nicky has Todd kill him so he can go back to Hell and ask his father for advice, but Satan has trouble hearing because his ears have fallen off, and his assistants are panicking because the deadline to capture Adrian and Cassius is approaching. Back on Earth, Nicky and his friends devise a plan to capture Adrian in a subway station, but Adrian discovers their trick and, in the ensuing fight, grabs Valerie and dives onto the track as a train approaches, but Nicky throws her aside, leaving himself and Adrian to be killed by the train.

Arriving in Hell just minutes before midnight, Adrian begins taking over Hell by pushing what remains of his father aside and sitting on the throne, rising to Central Park, and starting a riotous party. Meanwhile, Nicky wakes up in Heaven as a reward for sacrificing himself and meets his mother Holly, an angel who tells him that he can defeat Adrian with the "inner light" that he inherited from her. After she gives him a mysterious orb, he confronts Adrian in Central Park where he covers Henry Winkler in bees. Adrian appears to win the battle by transforming into a bat and locking Nicky in the flask. However, Nicky escapes from the flask and shatters the orb, causing Ozzy Osbourne to appear, bite Adrian's head off, and spit it into the flask.

With his brothers captured, Nicky prepares to save his father. After he re-covers Winkler in bees to make sure he goes to Hell, he and Valerie express their love for each other and she kills him. In Hell, Satan regains his body and suggests Nicky stay with Valerie.

One year later, Nicky and Valerie live in New York with their infant son named Zachariah who has demonic powers. John and Peter die in a plane crash and end up happily in Hell as honored residents who have been given Nicky's old bedroom to party in.

CastEdit

  • Adam Sandler as Nicky, the youngest son of Satan and an angel named Holly.
  • Patricia Arquette as Valerie Veran, a design student that Nicky falls for.
  • Harvey Keitel as Satan, the ruler of Hell who is the father of Nicky, Adrian, and Cassius.
  • Rhys Ifans as Adrian, the devious firstborn of Satan.
  • Tommy "Tiny" Lister Jr. as Cassius, the brutish second son of Satan.
  • Rodney Dangerfield as Lucifer (Nicky, Adrian, and Cassius's grandfather and Satan's father) who created Hell.
  • Robert Smigel as the voice of Mr. Beefy, a possessed bulldog and an old friend of Satan that Nicky befriends.
  • Reese Witherspoon as Holly, an angel who is Nicky's mother.
  • Allen Covert as Todd, an actor that Nicky befriends.
  • Jonathan Loughran as John, a Satanist metalhead that befriends Nicky.
  • Peter Dante as Peter, a Satanist metalhead and friend of John that befriends Nicky.
  • Blake Clark as Jimmy the Demon
  • Kevin Nealon as Stanley "Tit-Head", the Gatekeeper of Hell.
  • Dana Carvey as Whitey Duvall, the referee. Character credited as "Referee".
  • Michael McKean as the Chief of Police whom Adrian possesses.
  • Laura Harring as Mrs. Veronique Dunleavy, a woman who is spied upon by the Peeper
  • Isaiah Griffin as Scotty Dunleavy, the son of Mrs. Dunleavy.
  • Leah Lail as Christa
  • Jackie Titone as Jenna
  • Christopher Carroll as Adolf Hitler, the head of the Nazi Party who is condemned in Hell.
  • Joseph S. Griffo as Evil Little Person
  • Michael Deak as Gary the Monster
Cameos
  • Lewis Arquette as Cardinal
  • Ellen Cleghorne as Mother at the Globetrotters Game
  • John Farley as Human Dartboard
  • Clint Howard as Andrew/Nipples
  • Jon Lovitz as The Peeper, a pervert who gets caught spying on Mrs. Dunleavy from a tree, is killed by Mrs. Dunleavy and Scotty when they throw a rock at him, and is condemned to Hell where he is chased by giant horny birds.
  • Dan Marino as Himself, he tries to sell his soul to Satan in exchange for his team's victory only to be declined when Satan considers himself too good to claim his soul.
  • Ozzy Osbourne as Himself, he is summoned by Nicky to bite the head off of Adrian's bat form.
  • Regis Philbin as Himself
  • Radio Man as Himself (Deleted scene)
  • Rob Schneider as a Townie who witnesses Nicky's fight with Adrian. Schneider reprises his role from The Waterboy.
  • Frank Sivero as Alumni Hall Announcer
  • Quentin Tarantino as blind Deacon that Nicky hits with water from a fire hydrant after he insulted Valerie.
  • Bill Walton as Himself
  • John Witherspoon as a Street Vendor that briefly steals Nicky's flask.
  • Carl Weathers as Chubbs Peterson. Weathers reprises his role from Happy Gilmore.
  • Henry Winkler as Himself, he gets covered by bees twice with the first one caused by Adrian and the second one caused by Nicky.
  • George Wallace as Mayor Randolph, Mayor of New York City that Cassius possesses.
  • Fred Wolf as a Harlem Globetrotters fan.

ReceptionEdit

Box officeEdit

It opened at #2 at the North American box office making $16 million USD in its opening weekend, behind Charlie's Angels, which was on its second consecutive week at the top spot. The film went on to earn $39.5 million domestically and another $18.8 million worldwide, bringing the total to $58.3 million.

Critical responseEdit

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 21% based on reviews from 114 critics, with an average rating of 3.9/10. The site's consensus reads: "Despite the presence of a large, talented cast, the jokes in Little Nicky are dumb, tasteless, and not that funny, and Adam Sandler's character is grating to watch."[3] On Metacritic it has a score of 38% based on reviews from 29 critics.[4] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film a grade "B" on scale of A to F.[5]

Comedian and former Mystery Science Theater 3000 host Michael J. Nelson named the film the worst comedy ever made.[6] Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film a score of two-and-a-half stars out of four, describing Little Nicky as "the best Sandler movie to date" and the Nicky character as "intriguing", while at the same time lamenting Sandler's lack of finesse and vocal quirks.[7]

In 2020, Evan Saathoff of /Film argued against the characterization of Little Nicky as being "a blight on [Sandler's] filmography", writing that Sandler "certainly never got this wild again, not in one of his own films at least."[8]

AccoladesEdit

The film was nominated for five awards at the 21st Golden Raspberry Awards, including Worst Picture, Worst Actor (Adam Sandler), Worst Supporting Actress (Patricia Arquette), Worst Director and Worst Screenplay. It lost in all categories to Battlefield Earth starring John Travolta. At the 2000 Stinkers Bad Movie Awards, the film received seven total nominations: Worst Picture (lost to Battlefield Earth), Worst Actor for Sandler (lost to John Travolta), Worst On-Screen Couple for Sandler and that unfunny bulldog(lost to John Travolta and everyone in the galaxy for Battlefield Earth), Most Annoying Fake Accent for Sandler, Worst On-Screen Hairstyle for Sandler (lost to both Travolta and Forest Whitaker for Battlefield Earth), Most Annoying Product Placement for Popeye's Chicken (lost to FedEx and Wilson in Cast Away), and Most Unfunny Comic Relief for the painfully unfunny talking bulldog (lost to Tom Green for Road Trip and Charlie's Angels). As noted, its only win was for Most Annoying Fake Accent.[9]

Home mediaEdit

Little Nicky was released on DVD and VHS on April 24, 2001. The DVD includes two audio commentaries, a special feature dedicated to rock/metal music, the music video "School of Hard Knocks" by P.O.D., and deleted scenes.

SoundtrackEdit

Little Nicky (Music from the Motion Picture)
 
Soundtrack album by
various artists
ReleasedOctober 31, 2000 (2000-10-31)
Genre
Length48:31
LabelMaverick
Producer
Singles from Little Nicky (Music from the Motion Picture)
  1. "School of Hard Knocks"
    Released: December 2000
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic     [10]
Soundtrack.Net     [11]

The soundtrack album, Little Nicky (Music from the Motion Picture), was released October 31, 2000 through Maverick Records and featured a lineup that leaned heavily toward Maverick recording artists that included Deftones, Insolence, Muse and Ünloco.

No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."School of Hard Knocks" (performed by P.O.D.)4:04
2."Pardon Me" (performed by Incubus)3:45
3."Change (In the House of Flies)" (performed by Deftones)4:58
4."(Rock) Superstar" (performed by Cypress Hill)DJ Muggs4:37
5."Natural High" (performed by Insolence)
  • Mark Herman
  • William Rosenthal
  • Armando Cardenas
  • Paul Perry
Sylvia Massy3:20
6."Points of Authority" (performed by Linkin Park)Don Gilmore3:21
7."Stupify (Fu's Forbidden Little Nicky Remix)" (performed by Disturbed)5:08
8."Nothing" (performed by Ünloco)
  • Joey L. Dueñas
  • Brian Arthur
  • Peter Navarrete
  • Victor Escareño
Johnny K2:40
9."When Worlds Collide" (performed by Powerman 5000)
2:57
10."Cave" (performed by Muse)Matthew BellamyJohn Leckie4:46
11."Take a Picture" (performed by Filter)Richard Patrick
4:22
12."Be Quiet and Drive (Far Away) (Acoustic)" (performed by Deftones)
  • Moreno
  • Cheng
  • Cunningham
  • Carpenter
4:33
Total length:48:31
Notes
  • Tracks 8 and 12 were not featured in the film

Some songs featured in the film, but excluded from the soundtrack, were "Ladies' Night" by Kool & the Gang; "Runnin' with the Devil" by Van Halen; "Flying High Again", "Mama, I'm Coming Home", and "No More Tears" by Ozzy Osbourne; "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?" by Chicago; "Now or Never" by Zebrahead; Everlong" by Foo Fighters; "Two of Hearts" by Stacey Q; "Southtown" and "Rock the Party (Off the Hook)" by P.O.D.; "Rock You Like a Hurricane" by Scorpions; and "Highway to Hell" by AC/DC.

Video gameEdit

A Game Boy Color game was released based on the film shortly after its release.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Little Nicky (2000) - Financial Information". The Numbers.
  2. ^ "Little Nicky". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 6 July 2020.
  3. ^ "Little Nicky (2000)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved August 9, 2021.
  4. ^ "Little Nicky". Metacritic. Red Ventures.
  5. ^ "LITTLE NICKY (2000) B-". CinemaScore. Archived from the original on December 20, 2018.
  6. ^ Nelson, Michael J (March 6, 2007). "Inoperable Humor: The 5 Worst Comedies of All Time". Cracked.com. Retrieved April 3, 2016.
  7. ^ Ebert, Roger (November 10, 2000). "Little Nicky movie review & film summary (2000)". RogerEbert.com. Retrieved March 3, 2021.
  8. ^ Saathoff, Evan (November 27, 2020). "Little Nicky Defense: This Movie Is Actually Good". /Film. Retrieved July 18, 2021.
  9. ^ "Past Winners Database". The Envelope at LA Times. Archived from the original on 5 January 2007. Retrieved 18 September 2019.
  10. ^ Phares, Heather. "Little Nicky [Music from the Motion Picture] - Original Soundtrack | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved November 26, 2020.
  11. ^ Sheby, Matthew (December 2, 2004). "Little Nicky Soundtrack (2000)". Soundtrack.Net. Retrieved November 26, 2020.

External linksEdit