Weaving together gentrification, grief, bullying, Jewish folktales, and the preserving power of pickles, The Cobbler is an oddball spin on a 1940s Frank Capra-esque saccharine film. It also uses a klezmer soundtrack, a cross-dresser with a taser, and out of nowhere violence. Every sentence above is more fun that the actual movie, though. The Cobbler is trying to do so much—be socially conscious, be a parable (hell, maybe even be a superhero origin story!)— it just feels like a bunch of cobbled together ideas (sorry).
Max Simkin (Adam Sandler) is a sad shoe cobbler. He repairs people’s soles, but it’s his soul that needs repairing (get it?). For those that prefer Sandler’s work in Punch-Drunk Love, he’s introduced drinking coffee outside his struggling business with a similar stance to P-DL’s Barry Egan; he even awkwardly rocks back on his heels when he sees his pretty neighbor (Kim Cloutier). Max is alone. His father left him the shop with all the equipment, but he also vanished as a father.