BOSTON – Typically, when we hear that a new Adam Sandler movie is going to feature an acting role from a prominent basketball player, we imagine this means Shaquille O'Neal. Shaq and Sandler have starred in a number of comedies together, including Grown Ups 2, Blended, and the upcoming Hubie Halloween. But this time, Sandler is taking an alternative route with his movie choice. He is acting opposite a different former Boston Celtics big man.
Uncut Gems, which is slated to be released on December 13 of this year, features two New England legends as the top two stars billed in the cast. There is, of course, Sandler, who is playing Howard Ratner, a jewelry store owner in the diamond district of New York. And there is also Kevin Garnett, who is playing himself in the movie.
Sandler was raised in Manchester, New Hampshire and has frequently made a point of returning to the region to shoot some of his movies, as well as sport the team apparel of local Boston colleges and sports teams (think, the Boston Bruins jersey in Happy Gilmore).
Garnett, on the other hand, came to the Celtics in 2007 and helped them win an NBA championship in the very next June. He was a fan favorite during his time in the Hub and now we are seeing him join forces with Sandler.
This isn't just your run-of-the-mill juvenile Sandler comedy, though. Not by a long shot. Just look at the trailer.
It seems like a high-octane crime thriller that has actually been garnering Oscar buzz, which is certainly not a phrase typically associated with Sandler. Followers of the actor know that he can turn in incredible performances, though, as evidenced by Punch-Drunk Love, Reign Over Me, and 50 First Dates.
Garnett seems to shine, as well. Todd McCarthy's review for The Hollywood Reporter included the praise, "There’s not an actor in the cast who doesn’t deliver work that’s boisterous and full-bodied, and that includes baller Garnett, who, in addition to his numerous scenes, is glimpsed in games on TV."
Eagle-eyed sports fans will notice that Garnett is playing the 2012 version of himself as the Celtics experience the post-season, which helps since he did not age since then. Additionally, the trailer features the 2008 Celtics championship ring and an appearance from Mike Francesca, bizarrely.