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You Don't Mess with the Zohan (2008)

PG-13 | | Comedy | 6 June 2008 (USA)
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An Israeli Special Forces Soldier fakes his death so he can re-emerge in New York City as a hair stylist.

Director:

Dennis Dugan
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2,152 ( 460)
2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Adam Sandler ... Zohan
John Turturro ... Phantom
Emmanuelle Chriqui ... Dalia
Nick Swardson ... Michael
Lainie Kazan ... Gail
Ido Mosseri ... Oori
Rob Schneider ... Salim
Dave Matthews ... James
Michael Buffer ... Walbridge
Charlotte Rae ... Mrs. Greenhouse
Sayed Badreya ... Hamdi
Daoud Heidami Daoud Heidami ... Nasi
Kevin Nealon ... Kevin
Robert Smigel ... Yosi
Dina Doron ... Zohan's Mother (as Dina Doronne)
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Storyline

Harbouring an ardent desire to be the best in the cut-throat world of hairdressers, the Mossad's finest agent, Zohan, seizes the opportunity to call it quits by faking his death, after a fierce battle with his arch-nemesis, Phantom. In high hopes of making his dream come true in New York, the ambitious Zohan lands a job in the stylish hair salon of the beautiful Palestinian, Dalia, and things seem to work as planned; until a man from the past blows his cover. Now, the Zohan must fight tooth and nail to keep his new lifestyle, and in the meantime, try to win the heart of his boss. Can Zohan's dazzling hairstyling techniques save the world? Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

He'll blow you away See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual content throughout, language and nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Hebrew

Release Date:

6 June 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

No te metas con Zohan See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$90,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$38,531,374, 8 June 2008, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$100,018,837

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$199,936,011
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

SDDS | Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Co-Writer Robert Smigel revealed that the script was mostly written in 2000, but was delayed after the 9/11 attacks due to the terrorist themes in the film. See more »

Goofs

Zohan holds his scissors incorrectly throughout the entire film. His ring finger should be in the tanged hole of the scissor as that is the proper way to use a pair of hair cutting scissors. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Danny: You don't mess with the Zohan!
See more »

Alternate Versions

The unrated version runs almost four minutes longer than the theatrical version and includes many extended scenes. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Unidentified Flying Oddball (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Look On The Floor/Hypnotic Dance
Written by Mauro Malavasi, Stefano Micheli, Henrik Korpi, Mathias Wollo, Sara Dallin (as Sarah Dallin) and Keren Woodward
Performed by Bananarama
Courtesy of The Lab/A&G Productions
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Lowbrow, lame
3 June 2008 | by jdesandoSee all my reviews

"It's gonna sound a little crazy." Zohan (Adam Sandler)

I hold no hope for Arab/Israeli peace if it hangs on the success of Adam Sandler's You Don't Mess with the Zohan. It's a mess of a socio-political satire with inaudible accents, bathroom humor, and tastelessness. The humorous moments are few, unlike its precursor, Sasha Baron Cohen's Borat, which pretty much had regular laughs, albeit some just as low.

Sandler's Zohan is a Mossad agent who flees the chaotic Mideast for chaotic New York City. He's not your garden variety Bond or Bourne: He has super powers that make him impervious to harm and Olympic in the bedroom. The comic hook is Zohan's wish to be a hair stylist in America, a dream he gets to fulfill in NYC becoming a hairdresser in a Palestinian salon.

Although there are some funny bits, as when three Israeli's answer their hot line commenting that they'll be back to the caller as soon as the current peace talks break down, mainly the audience is subjected to shots of Sandler's enhanced package beneath his jeans and foolish Palestinian nationals bumbling to get Zohan. The kindly satire of Sandler's own Jews and mid-easterners in general is stereotyped but lacking the invention of Borat's Ali G.

Although John Turturro's Palestinian superman, Phantom, provides a laugh or two, I couldn't stop feeling sad that such a talent dusts it up in such a lowbrow caper. As for Mariah Carey indulging in some bust-busting self parody, I liked it and wanted more (Not more of her—there's ample on display—just more of the parody).

Although I appreciated writers Sandler and Apatow dealing with contemporary issues such as greedy landlords and the Arab/Israeli conflict, the humor is not low enough, despite the scatological moments, nor is it witty enough to carry the audience over the clichéd moments.

Read the international reports in the New York Times: It's all more laughable but much scarier.


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