The Adam Sandler you remember from childhood probably looks pretty darn different from the Sandler in the past few years. Yes, endlessly quotable movies like Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore were unabashed laughfests. But in the last decade, Sandler’s made great strides—maybe not to distance himself from the past, exactly, but to take on more serious roles like those in Punch Drunk Love and Reign Over Me.
His latest dramedy, The Cobbler, similarly takes on the light as well as the dark. In it, Sandler plays Max Simkin, a down-on-his-luck shoe repairman stuck in an existential rut.
“He’s doing a job that he was kind of told to do by his family,” Sandler told Fusion. “[He] doesn’t really know what his dreams are and he’s just kind of feeling stale.”
One day when Max discovers an old family sewing machine in the store’s basement. When he uses the machine on a customer’s shoes, he can transform into the owner of the shoes. Movie magic!
Of course, of course there are rules, Max can only become the shoe owner if the shoe actually fits. Likewise, if Max takes the shoes off, he is transformed back into himself. (Things get a little crazy—wait until you see Method Man doing his Adam-Sandler-as-Method-Man method acting.)
We sat down with both Sandler and Tom McCarthy, the writer and director of The Cobbler, to talk about the film, shoe sizes (Sandler claims to wear “22s”), and whose shoes we’d wear if we had a magical sewing machine. There’s all of this and some song medleys from Adam Sandler—what more could you want?