Giving a big thumbs up to the effort of Sandler's Zacharach narrates the beginning of the Adam Sandler tale, " And while it [Zohan] doesn't attempt to offer any viable diplomatic solution (you won't see Sandler accepting the Nobel Peace Prize anytime soon, or ever), it makes a valiant effort to bridge a gap that most of us, dispiritingly, have come to believe is unbridgeable. When Zohan's mother, played by the saucy, sunny Dina Doronne, urges him to stay in the army, she professes to see some light at the end of this very long, dark tunnel: "They've been fighting for 2,000 years, it can't be much longer." The stark reality is that it probably will be.'"
I know, God, that from your perspective 2000 years is not a long time but for those of us here on planet earth for only an average of 3 and a half generations, such lengthy squabbles are disheartening. Luckily, as Zacharak explains, "that isn't going to stop Sandler from proffering this bold, optimistic olive branch, one that attempts to show that, since Arabs and Jews have learned to get along (at least reasonably well) in New York, their problems in the Middle East can't be unsolvable. No matter where you stand on Adam Sandler -- with his extremely profitable blend of crudeness and self-effacing regular-guy sweetness -- there's no denying the audacity of Sandler's basic idea (he co-wrote the script with Robert Smigel and the ubiquitous Judd Apatow; Dennis Dugan is the director), or the pleasure he takes in poking fun at both sides, even as he extends a degree of sympathy to each one."
Unlike many films set in America over the years, this one is told fully from the perspective of Middle Easters who leave the 2000 years of strife and generally push peace in the new world while genuinely trying to start over--without the memories and baggage of their ancestors weighing them down. The main character, Zohan--played by Sandler, is a Samson-like Israeli Soldier Superhero who walks away from his fame and army tradition to escape to America and try to live out his dream, which is to become a hair stylist (but not at Salon.com). As Zacharak says in her Salon.com column, "Zohan is a lover, not a fighter". [and] Zohan won't be deterred."
After Zohan "finds a way to make it to New York, he realizes his dream isn't so easy to achieve. But he does get a foot in the door at a salon run by a stunning, charming Palestinian woman, Dalia (Emmanuelle Chrigui), and he eventually becomes the salon's most popular stylist, in part because he has so much sexual energy that he happily services all the older ladies" ." Alas, "Zohan learns that he can't escape his past -- or his homeland's past -- just by switching countries."
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