In all honesty, I never thought I'd be dedicating a post to an Adam Sandler film. I cannot express the dislike I have for this actor. I hate all his films, except for Hotel Transylvania mostly because you can't see him, but there are some hideous inaccuracies in that film that have made me dislike it (for the millionth time, Frankenstein was the doctor NOT the monster, SORT IT OUT Hotel Transylvania). So, maybe I do just dislike all Sandler’s films then. I was subjected to ‘Big Daddy’ too many times in school. At the end of term, teachers would put on a film but the only films the damn school seemed to have was ‘Big Daddy’ and ‘Notting Hill’ which is why I can’t sit through that film either. Moving on!
I hate Adam Sandler films and whenever I say this, I have people suggest either ‘Punch Drunk Love’ (which I’ve not seen) or one of his other terrible films. However, when I saw that there was a film called ‘Murder Mystery’ (not inventive but to the point) I obviously was going to watch it. Having Jennifer Aniston alongside Sandler softened the blow of potential disappointment. But it gets better. Not only were Aniston and Sandler playing the American couple invited along to a mysterious gathering but it was a gathering of British actors (well, 5 but still) playing a family and close friends of said family. In an American film, what’s more suspicious than a wealthy British family with secrets? As well as the Brits there are Icelandic, Japanese, Mexican and South African actors and to round out the cast, a French detective who is keen to pin the murders on the random American couple who showed up. This is exactly the sort of set up you want in an over the top murder mystery. As Mr and Mrs Spitz taking their honeymoon 15 years after getting married, Nick is the police officer having failed his detective exam many times but lying to his wife he passed, Audrey is a hairdresser and keen murder mystery reader, each bring their own ridiculous-ness to the plot. The Americans are the jokes, the suspects and leads of the story and play up to the stereotypes perfectly, as does everyone else in their role.
The plot is delightfully simple and actually funny throughout, taking it’s the que from all the murder mysteries (particularly Agatha Christie, because, of course!) before it. Outsider couple are invited to an exclusive weekend on a fancy yacht with a group of people who are all connected to the billionaire who hosts the party. A murder happens and everyone is a suspect, but the police believe it be the outsider couple SO they have to prove their innocence and find the killer, but as the holiday continues, the bodies pile up.
The fact that Audrey really loves her murder mystery novels (who doesn’t?) and excitedly points out how certain things happen in those genre books and are mirrored in real life is exactly how I’d react. She solves clues just as well or as badly as Nick does. The pairing of a would be detective and murder mystery enthusiast is brilliant. In fact, I wouldn’t say no to a sequel. Murder mystery has that appeal.
I do love a hitman story and film noir and neo noir but murder mysteries will always be my favourite. It may be the set-up, the any characters with secrets to reveal or the puzzle to solve, whatever it is I always enjoy it. It’s just very surprising its on Netflix AND Sandler is in it, so if I can overlook him, anyone can.