This is Happy Madison Productions' first animated film. The film's title is taken from a line in Sandler's series of songs called The Chanukah Song that compares the gift-giving traditions of Christmas and Chanukah: "Instead of one day of presents, we get eight crazy nights!". Additionally, a new version of The Chanukah Song was played over the film's closing credits.
In the small town of Dukesberry, New Hampshire, Davey Stone is a 33-year-old alcoholic troublemaker with a long criminal record, whose antics have long earned him the animosity of the community. Davey is arrested for refusing to pay his bill at Mr. Chang's Chinese restaurant and, while attempting to evade arrest ("Davey's Song"), destroying festive ice sculptures in the process. At Davey's trial, Whitey Duvall, a 70-year-old volunteer referee from Davey's former basketball league, intervenes. At Whitey's suggestion, the judge sentences Davey to community service as a referee-in-training for Whitey's Youth Basketball League. Under the terms of the community service, if Davey commits a crime before his sentence is completed, he will serve ten years in prison.
The next day, Davey's first game ends in disaster. After Davey causes disruptions, Whitey suffers a grand mal seizure, and the game is abruptly brought to an end. Attempting to calm Davey down, Whitey takes him to the mall, where they meet Jennifer Friedman, Davey's childhood girlfriend, and her son Benjamin. Though Whitey reminds him that he lost his chance with her twenty years earlier, Davey still finds himself attracted to Jennifer.
As time progresses, Davey and Whitey's relationship becomes more strained. Whitey's various attempts to encourage Davey are met with humiliation and assault - including but not limited to Davey knocking Whitey into an outhouse and then spraying him when he falls out with a hose, causing Whitey to be frozen in defecation. Upon arriving home ("Long Ago"), Davey finds his trailer being burned down by a man who lost a bet to him. Davey runs into the burning trailer to rescue a Hanukkah card from his late parents, then watches the trailer burn down. Whitey opens his home to Davey, who reluctantly accepts the invitation; also living in the house is Whitey's bald, diabetic fraternal twin sister Eleanore. The Duvall household has many complex rules, to which Whitey refers as technical fouls ("Technical Foul"). Despite this, Davey seemingly overcomes them, and begins to turn his life around.
However, Davey's progress in reforming is stopped when Whitey recalls the events of what happened two decades ago: En route to one of Davey's basketball games, his parents were killed in a serious car accident when a truck skidded on black ice and crashed into their car, and Davey learned of their deaths when the police showed up at the end of his game to inform him. Devastated by the loss of his loving parents, Davey spent the next 20 years numbing his pain with alcohol and petty crime. Davey, uncomfortable with this reminder of his painful childhood, loses his temper and insults Whitey and Eleanor. As a result, Whitey revokes Davey's privilege to reside at his home, much to Davey's relief.
Davey spends the rest of the day drinking, and later that night breaks into the mall, which is closed. In a drunken stupor, he imagines the logos of various stores coming to life and confronting him about his inability to grieve for his parents, which they identify as the source of his alcoholism ("Intervention Song"). He finally opens his parents' Hanukkah card, which contains a message praising him for being a good son. Davey breaks down and cries, finally coming to terms with his loss. Just then, the police arrive to arrest him, but Davey escapes and boards a bus to New York City, just as the police are searching for him across. En route to the city, the bus is forced to stop when all eight tires are punctured by a single thumbtack in the road. Reminded of the Miracle of Hanukkah, Davey walks off the bus, intending to find Whitey and make amends with him.
Davey finds Whitey at the All-Star Banquet, an annual town celebration in which one member of the community is recognized for positive contributions to Dukesberry. Despite having vied for the award for over 35 years, Whitey is once again passed over. Heartbroken, he leaves, intending to move to Florida. Risking arrest, Davey enters the hall and informs everyone of the selfless contributions that Whitey has made to Dukesberry over the course of his life. Ashamed, the townspeople acknowledge the error of their decision ("Bum Biddy"). Davey leads the people to Whitey, who has gone to the mall to "speak to it" alone. The townspeople thank Whitey for his service over the years and the Mayor officially grants him the Patch Award. All 32 (one had won three) previous recipients of the awards give theirs to Whitey. Davey and Jennifer reconcile, and Whitey goes into a seizure, which he calls "the happiest seizure of my life!".Adam Sandler as Davey Stone/Whitey Duvall/Eleanore Duvall
Jackie Titone as Jennifer Friedman.
Alison Krauss as her singing voice
Austin Stout as Benjamin Friedman, Jennifer's excitable 11-year-old son.
Rob Schneider as The Narrator/Mr. Chang, a Chinese restaurant waiter.
Kevin Nealon as Mayor Dewey, the Mayor of Dukesberry.
Norm Crosby as the Judge.
Jon Lovitz as Tom Baltezor, a competitor in the All-Star Banquet for the patch.
Dylan and Cole Sprouse as KB Toys soldiers
Tyra Banks as Victoria's Secret gown
Blake Clark as Radio Shack walkie-talkie
Peter Dante as Foot Locker referee
Ellen Albertini Dow as See's Candies box
Kevin Farley as Panda Express panda
Lari Friedman as The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf cup
Tom Kenny as The Sharper Image chair
Carl Weathers as GNC bottle
The film was animated by A. Film A/S and Yowza! Animation. It was the last animated film Adam Sandler worked on until Hotel Transylvania in 2012, and remains the only traditionally-animated film to have his involvement.
Eight Crazy Nights came in at fifth place on its opening weekend among U.S. box office, making only $14 million since its Wednesday launch. It only grossed a total of $23.6 million in North America and negligible foreign box office receipts, for a total of only $23.8 million worldwide. The film received largely negative reviews. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a rating of 12% positive reviews with consensus saying "Sandler returns to his roots in this nauseating concoction filled with potty humor and product placements." Top film critic Roger Ebert gave the film two out of four possible stars and derided the movie's dour tone, saying that "The holidays aren't very cheerful in Sandlerville." However, on his review program, co-host Richard Roeper gave the film a "Thumbs Up!" Sandler won a Kids' Choice Award for Best Voice in an Animated Movie in 2003 and was nominated for the Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actor, along with Mr. Deeds.
Eight Crazy Nights was released November 4, 2003 on VHS and single- and two-disc edition DVD. The two-disc "special edition" features deleted scenes, several audio commentaries, and Sandler's short film "A Day with the Meatball", among other special features. A Blu-ray version of the film has yet to be released.Kids' Choice Awards, USA 2003
Razzie Awards 2003
The soundtrack of the film was released on November 27, 2002 by Columbia/Sony Music Soundtrax. The soundtrack contains every song in the film, including the new installment of "The Chanukah Song" and a deleted song, called "At The Mall", sung by Whitey as he strolls through the mall in an alternate opening, which is included in the DVD release.