Hearing what director Tom McCarthy has to say about his upcoming film The Cobbler makes me really want to see the trailer for this film. Alas, it’s a bit premature for that, but we do have our first look at Adam Sandler as a shoe repairman who looks like he’s still in the process of starting his day in this photo. He’s unshaven and enjoying a cup of joe while people-watching or perhaps, chatting up a neighbor while out in front of his shop.
We’ve seen Adam Sandler deviate from his standard brand of goofy humor -- or less-goofy but still light-hearted rom-com charm -- with movies like Spanglish and Punch-Drunk Love, and from the sound of it, The Cobbler will be another chance for Sandler to shine while standing outside of the comfort of the Happy Madison box. Looking at the photo above, as a longtime fan of Sandler, I so want that to be the case. Whether or not it is, remains to be seen. But a picture's worth a thousand words... or shoes.
Beyond the potential for a great performance from Sandler, there’s the potential of the premise, which involves a shoe repairman who integrates himself into the lives of the people whose shoes he fixes. EW shared the photo above, along with some hints about the tone of the movie, describing it as "more whimsical than [McCarthy’s] previous movies, like The Station Agent, with obvious elements of fairy tale" and also rooted in McCarthy’s own experiences, and then goes on to quote McCarthy:
I lived above a shoe-repair shop in New York City that I used to walk by every day, and I always just kind of was fascinated with it, looking in and seeing an endless maze of shoes sitting around. I was kind of thinking about the expression of, ‘You don’t know a man until you walk a mile in his shoes’ one day and what the origin of that was and what that would mean to translate that into a story."
The concept certainly has potential, and once again, I’m hopeful that this is a role Sandler will embrace, as he’s proven to have real talent when it comes to playing characters with some depth. I’m mentally picturing Adam Sandler looking down at a pair of worn-out shoes and picturing himself wearing them whoever he thinks they were before the ended up in his shop, in need of repair.
In addition to Sandler, The Cobbler will also star Dustin Hoffman, Cliff "Method Man" Smith, Melonie Diaz, Ellen Barkin, Dan Stevens and Steve Buscemi, the latter of whom is known to pop up in movies starring Adam Sandler from time to time. We learned of Buscemi’s casting a couple of months ago, but there weren’t any details about his character then. EW’s new post says he’s playing a barber whose shop is right next door to Sandler’s shoe repair place. Apparently these characters have known each other for years. The same can be said for Sandler and Buscemi, and from what McCarthy says, that really comes through on screen. So that’s one more reason to look forward to The Cobbler when it makes the rounds. There's no mention of a release date, but EW says they just finished filming in New York.