You Don’t Mess With the Zohan — in which Adam Sandler plays an Israeli counterterrorist commando whose big dream is to become a hairdresser — is the movie Munich should have been. At the very least, it’s got to be the first picture to use smelly-feet jokes as a means of parsing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But more than that, it’s a mainstream movie that dares to make jokes about the kinds of complex political realities that most of us don’t dare bring up at dinner parties.
“And while it 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.” — from Stephanie Zacaherk’s 6.6. review on Salon.