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Little Nicky (2000, Adam Sandler, Patricia Arquette)



In Little Nicky Satan (Harvey Keitel), despite being in the job 10,000 years, announces he’s not ready for retirement just yet, infuriating his older sons Adrian (Rhys Ifans) and Cassius (Tommy ‘Tiny’ Lister Jnr). They decide to transform the Earth into their own personal Hell but in leaving, they seal the Gates of Hell, preventing new souls from entering. Which is a problem for Satan, whose existence relies on sustenance from the spirits of the damned. As he starts fading, there’s only one hope: that his youngest son Nicky (Adam Sandler) can bring back his elder brothers.

Sent to Earth, the incredibly inept and unworldly (in every sense of the word) Nicky is lucky enough to be befriended by Valerie (Patricia Arquette) and a talking dog who clue him in on Earth’s ways. But as his brothers begin to wreak havoc (they lower the drinking age to 10 and the Harlem Globetrotters start to lose games!), will he be strong enough to capture and return them? And just what is the relationship between the angelic Holly (Reese Witherspoon), Satan and Nicky?

Anyone looking for Bergman-like insights into the human condition is looking at the wrong film but those seeking laugh-out-loud comedy will find this a riot. Sandler, with his lop-sided face (one of his brothers hit him with a shovel) and nasal whine, is the innocent abroad, an oft-used comedic device which allows for both verbal and sight gags galore. Arquette, Ifans and Lister more than hold their own amid the mayhem and there are cameos galore (Quentin Tarantino, Ozzy Osborne, Rodney Dangerfield). Sandler’s best film until then, it was to make him a key Hollywood player and, in Punch Drunk Love and Anger Management , he showed he was more than capable of drama as well as comedy.

production details
USA | 90 minutes | 2000

Director: Steven Brill
Writers: Adam Sandler, Tim Herlihy, Steven Brill

Adam Sandler as Nicky
Harvey Keitel as Dad
Rhys Ifans as Adrian
Frank Sivero as Alumni Hall Announcer
Quentin Tarantino as Deacon
Jon Lovitz as Peeper
Regis Philbin as Regis Philbin
Clint Howard as Nipples
Lewis Arquette as Cardinal
Henry Winkler as Henry Winkler
Reese Witherspoon as Holly
Patricia Arquette as Valerie Veran
Tom Lister Jr. as Cassius
Rodney Dangerfield as Lucifer
Allen Covert as Todd
Peter Dante as Peter
Jonathan Loughran as John
Robert Smigel as Beefy
Dana Carvey as Referee
Kevin Nealon as Gatekeeper
Michael McKean as Chief of Police
Ozzy Osbourne as Himself
Jackie Sandler as Jenna
Troy Brown as Beating Cop
Erinn Bartlett as Fenner
Blake Clark as Jimmy the Demon
Rob Schneider as The Townie
John Witherspoon as Street Vendor
George Wallace as Mayor Randolph
Dan Marino as Dan Marino