It’s 8:14 in the morning. I’m at my mother-in-law’s house because of holiday things. I should be gorging myself on leftover cookies, but I’m not because I’m emotionally wired. I had to listen and only casually push back against large portions of my wife’s (maybe now soon to be ex-wife’s) family as they slandered Uncut Gems last night for being “stupid” and “annoying”, and now, I just got on the Internet for the first time in like two days to see audiences gave the movie a C+ CinemaScore.
You know what else has a C+ CinemaScore? Cats. What in the feline fuck is going on here? I’ll admit some sick part of me enjoyed Cats in its own disorganized, unfinished unintentional trainwreck kind of way, but the idea that it’s even in the same conversation as Uncut Gems is offensive to people with taste. That movie has been the Internet’s punchline for weeks. What are people watching that I’m not? Are my eyes broken? How are only 56% of users on Rotten Tomatoes recommending it?
I’ve seen dozens and dozens of 2019 movies, and Uncut Gems is one of my absolute favorites. It’s easily in my Top 5. It’s one of the most emotionally-moving theater experiences I have ever had. I got so nervous at one point that I suddenly realized I’d retreated to the back of my theater seat, as if I was bracing for a sudden impact. It’s an unhinged masterpiece that I will be talking about for years, and it’s the best Adam Sandler has ever been.
Speaking of Adam Sandler, people have been hammering him for what feels like a decade for being too safe and making the same types of movies with his buddies. I get it. Some of that criticism is fair, but he clearly took it to heart here (or at least his wife did). Uncut Gems is unlike anything he’s ever made before. It’s a chaotic and unnerving partnership with two of the most promising young filmmakers working today, and it takes one deranged chance after another. There is nothing safe about any of this.
I’m so mad. I really don’t know how else to put it. I loved Uncut Gems when I saw it like a month ago (sick brag!), and I have been amped to be able to openly talk about it with everyone else. I think it’s so good that I guess I assumed everyone else would agree with me. We’d all spend the next month having pro-Adam Sandler conversations for the first time in years. We’d all eagerly discuss our favorite scenes and talk about what exciting filmmakers he might work with next.
Nope! Turns out most people want Adam Sandler to go make The Waterboy 2. They don’t want to see movies without a conventional structure or ones that might be uncomfortable to watch. They just want dick jokes and an emotionally uplifting, barely earned scene at the end where everything works out. Noted. I’m the asshole for thinking otherwise. Won’t make that mistake again.
In summary, I love Uncut Gems. I think it’s spectacular, and I’m going to keep telling anyone who will listen that they should go see it. On that note, if you haven’t seen Uncut Gems yet, please consider going to see it this weekend. Movies with an original voice should be supported, and this one might have the most original voice of the year. You’ll definitely love it, except if you don’t, in which case, you should see it again and reexamine your life.
Writer's Note: If anyone from my wife's extended family is reading this, you are all wonderful people. I just disagree strongly with your takes on Uncut Gems and would prefer not to discuss it in the future, unless you have seen it again and reconsidered your opinion.
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Mack Rawden is the Editor-In-Chief of CinemaBlend. He first started working at the publication as a writer back in 2007 and has held various jobs at the site in the time since including Managing Editor, Pop Culture Editor and Staff Writer. He now splits his time between working on CinemaBlend’s user experience, helping to plan the site’s editorial direction and writing passionate articles about niche entertainment topics he’s into. He graduated from Indiana University with a degree in English (go Hoosiers!) and has been interviewed and quoted in a variety of publications including Digiday. Enthusiastic about Clue, case-of-the-week mysteries, a great wrestling promo and cookies at Disney World. Less enthusiastic about the pricing structure of cable, loud noises and Tuesdays.