Entertainment

'Uncut Gems' Has a Pretty Big Sports Goof and It's Driving People Crazy

Adam Sandler's dialogue doesn't match with what's being shown during a scene in the delightfully anxiety-inducing hit film.
January 7, 2020, 7:31pm
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When you think about how many film editors, sound editors, assistants, and, like, foley artists or whatever watch (and re-watch) a film during post-production, it's hard to believe that any kind of mistake gets past all of them and into the final cut. But big-screen screw-ups still happen with surprising regularity, and they're constantly being catalogued on websites like MovieMistakes.com or on the r/MovieMistakes subreddit.

Some of the most common fuckups seem to be minor factual errors, like a 1970 Roger Taylor playing a circa-1990s drum kit during Bohemian Rhapsody, or continuity mistakes, like the big red dot disappearing from Mia Wallace's chest after she gets that adrenaline shot in Pulp Fiction, or Julia Roberts' breakfast magically changing from a croissant to a pancake in Pretty Woman. Then there are the accidental anachronisms, like seeing a white car in the distance during an otherwise car-free 13th-century Braveheart battle, or the infamous Starbucks cup that appeared during a final-season episode of Game of Thrones.

And, most recently, sports fans have noticed that the dialogue doesn't match with what's being shown on television during a scene in Uncut Gems. Awful Announcing noticed that, during one early scene, Howard Ratner (Adam Sandler) is watching a Boston Celtics basketball game, and briefly leaves the room. When he comes back, his wife (Idina Menzel) has changed the channel. "Put the game on ESPN," Ratner says, and that would be five words of throwaway dialogue, if that basketball game wasn't clearly and obviously being broadcast on TNT.

Adnan Virk, from streaming sports network DAZN noticed the mistake, and asked the flick's co-director, Benny Safdie about it in mid-December. "I go up to Benny Safdie, I say ‘I just have one question for you. Why is it when Sandler is watching the basketball game [...] and he says ‘Can you put the game back on ESPN?’ I said ‘There’s no way that game was on ESPN. It was on Turner, TNT,'" Virk said during an episode of his Cadence13 Cinephile podcast. "And you just see the blood drain out of Benny Safdie’s face."

Virk said that Safdie immediately pulled out his phone to watch the scene, and seemed to be both surprised and upset about the mixup. "And I realized in that moment that I’m a total jerk. I’ve just given this guy who’s sweated over this film for years, I wouldn’t say that I’ve ruined him, but I definitely pissed him off in that moment," Virk said. "But I’m a sports guy, I’m going to notice that; when he says ‘Put the game back on ESPN’ and the game’s on TNT. And the look on his face [...] I said ‘Of course! Benny, you’ve made a great film. Nobody’s going to notice. I’m the one guy who notices these things.'"

There were a couple dozen comments on Twitter about the mistake, but there's no way that takes away from the rest of the flick, which currently has a 93% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, scored 4.5 out of 5 stars from Rolling Stone, and has prompted lengthy thinkpieces that debate whether or not Adam Sandler is a good actor.

At least Uncut Gems, which is set in 2012, didn't have a random Unicorn Frappuccino or Popeyes chicken sandwich in the background. Something like that would've been unforgivable.