If you're a cigar-smokin' Hollywood mogul, the idea of slipping Adam Sandler into a Burt Reynolds remake leads to an embarrassment of riches. Who wouldn't like to see Billy Madison take on the rednecks from Deliverance? Could Sandler handle himself in a fast-moving vehicle from the Smokey and the Bandit/Cannonball Run/Stroker Ace years? Is the time right for a Gator revival?
The world might never know the answers to these questions, because the powers that be chose to green-light Sandler for a remake of the prison-yard football flick The Longest Yard. The question isn't whether Sandler's Paul "Wrecking" Crewe can lead his ragtag group of cons to victory over the prison guards' team....you've seen the movie before. What you really want to know is if he can fill the shoes of the Man from Moustache Valley.
Fortunately for Sandler, he has a strong supporting cast to help him pull it off, including Reynolds himself, Chris Rock, football legend Michael Irvin and St. Louis' own Nelly (pictured). And fortunately for us, Nelly arranged for the filmmakers and some members of the cast to show up at 4 p.m. for the St. Louis premiere of the film. Time to slip on a pair of Air Force Ones and mix it up with some stars.
But hangin' with the Sand, Rock, Ace and Nelly doesn't come cheap: The full VIP treatment for The Longest Yard evening runs up to $500, while $100 lets you watch the film in, ahem, an alternate theater and attend the afterparty, and $50 gets you into the open-bar afterparty only. But the cash benefits the Jes Us 4 Jackie campaign, Nelly's bone-marrow education effort, and the 4Sho4Kids Foundation, Nelly's organization to help kids with developmental disabilities. And if do-gooding isn't enough for you to break out the plastic, consider: In the Kevin Bacon game of life, you can get one degree away from Loni Anderson. Ka-ching!