Opinion: Uncut Gems will have you on edge in more ways than one


Charlotte D'Orsi

Adam Sandler’s vulgarity in his new movie is comedic but slightly uncomfortable.


Adam Sandler demonstrates one of his best acting performances yet in the recently released movie “Uncut Gems.” I only say that because most people recognize Sandler for his comedic roles in films such as “Grown Ups” and “Just go with it” and I never really found any substance in his acting. It always seemed like his only skill was his comedic delivery which was amplified by his goofy personality. 

However, in his portrayal of Howard Ratner, I feel as though he presents a much more multifaceted character who is not meant to be inherently funny but who can be found quite amusing through his accurate portrayal of a stereotypical Jewish New-Yorker.

The plot itself revolves around Ratner, or “Howie”, a gambling-addicted jeweler whose main goal is to make it big by selling a rare black opal gem which he believes is worth over a million dollars. Throughout his attempts to make a substantial profit, Ratner avoids his debts and disappoints his family with his careless acts. I found the plot itself quite well written as it was unpredictable thanks to the spontaneity of Sandler’s character.

Despite the film’s few weak-points, many would agree that it was quite masterfully written, directed, and performed. Graphic by: Charlotte D’Orsi

The tone of the film was rather mysterious and evasive in what was to happen next. I felt as though the soundtrack matched that ambiguous feeling; I don’t quite know how to describe the music other than an eerie sci-fi techno-ish tone. Regardless, I enjoyed it.

It was very interesting to see how Idina Menzel, who plays Ratner’s wife, Dinah, has the variety of singing an admittedly catchy but extraordinarily annoying song in Disney’s “Frozen” while also being able to excellently play the fed-up wife of a cheating, indebted, jeweler. 

The film also features celebrities such as musician, The Weeknd, and basketball player, Kevin Garnett who acted surprisingly well for an athlete with little to no acting background. 

On the flipside, one main thing that bothered me was the film’s length which was approximately two hours. Many scenes seemed like they dragged on for much longer than they needed to. I understand that a movie is, for the director, a work of art in which every camera shot needs to be meticulously planned out, however, how many shots of Ratner walking through the city could we possibly need? What was the point in involving Ratner’s doctor appointment to check if he had colon cancer if the only other time it was mentioned was 45 minutes later when he got the call that he was clean? 

Another thing that didn’t sit great with me was Ratner’s love affair with Julia, his 20-something year old employee. Maybe it was the age difference or maybe it was the fact that I was sitting next to my boyfriend’s mom during what seemed like a 10 minute long scene involving sexting, stripping, and–for lack of a better word–dirty talk. 

Even so, this type of uncomfort can be said of any mature movie watched with any type of parent so I really can’t complain that much. But it does seem to be a pattern in many of Sandler’s movies for him to play a gross, unattractive middle aged man who is romantically involved with a girl half his age, so there really was no surprise there.

Overall, I did enjoy the film despite the fear that I was developing sores from sitting in the theater for so long. I rate it a solid 9/10 and I would recommend it to anybody amused by Italian and Jewish stereotypes, who likes a good plot twist, and who doesn’t mind long movies, but please, for the love of God, do not watch it with your partner’s family.