You Don't Mess With the Zohan

I was always amazed that Hogan’s Heroes got laughs out of a Nazi prisoner-of-war camp. In a similar vein, Adam Sandler attempts a comedy about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. He plays an Israeli counterterrorist specialist who, tired of the fighting, decides to come to New York to style hair. See, that’s funny, because counterterrorist specialists are very manly, and hairstyling is something that homosexuals and women do. Nonetheless, Sandler’s politics aren’t mean-spirited; he indulges in some gentle stereotyping, but he never treats women, gays or members of any minority as though they’re less than people. So kudos to him for that. Still, it’s a little hard to chuckle at terrorism and repression. But at least someone is trying.


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