Uncut Gems

[3.0 stars] [IMDb Link] [Amazon Link]

Adam Sandler in a serious drama? OK.

He plays Howard Ratner, a jeweler who's in over his head with romantic, family, and financial problems, mostly self-inflicted due to his multiple character flaws: he's dishonest, impulsive, narcissistic, prone to rage. Usually I prefer a more likeable character, but Howard is more of an amoral force of nature, so it's easy to suspend judgment. As the movie proceeds, he resorts to ever more frenetic and high-risk schemes to keep all the plates spinning.

The main thread of the plot involves Boston Celtic Kevin Garnett ( playing himself), who's interested in … I am not making this up … a rock with the titular "uncut gems" embedded within. This invites social commentary: do NBA players really look around for flashy junk like this to spend their money on? Well, it's their money, so I guess I don't care.

This movie has Serious Oscar Contender written all over it, but it got skunked, with zero nominations. Adam Sandler did, however, win AARP's "Best Actor" in its Movies for Grownups department.