Uncut Gems is far from a true sports movie, but it is certainly sports adjacent. That’s why if you’re a sports fan watching the Safdie Brothers film, you may have caught a mistake made by Adam Sandler’s character that made it to the screen.
No spoilers here, but Kevin Garnett plays a huge role in the movie as himself, still playing basketball back in 2012. The movie is terrifyingly 2012, in fact, with distinct clothing and a sensory overload that would make watching the movie with a hangover a complete nightmare. Anyway, at one point after Garnett first shows up in his shop, Sandler’s Howard Ratner is watching a Celtics-Sixers playoff game in which Garnett is playing in his Long Island home.
Sandler gets distracted by putting his kids to bed and then goes into a room where his wife is watching reality television. He tells her to put on ESPN, presumably to watch the Celtics game again and follow a bet he placed earlier in the day. But eagle eyed sports fans who saw the earlier broadcast on TV and heard the play-by-play during the movie would know the game was actually aired on TNT, not ESPN.
Later games in that series were on ESPN, and were shown again during the movie. But the game Ratner was currently watching was very clearly TNT, and the broadcast itself shown on screen multiple times makes it clear. Plenty of people who saw the movie spotted the mistake and tweeted about it.
Is anyone talking about how Howie Ratner told his wife to turn on ESPN when the game was obviously on TNT? #UncutGems
— Josh Spitz (@josh_spitz) January 2, 2020
In Uncut Gems, Adam Sandler says to turn the channel to ESPN, when the game is clearly a TNT broadcast. pic.twitter.com/8vaNFs6GGg
— Tyler Petty (@TylerJPetty) December 28, 2019
If I have one criticism of Uncut Gems, it’s that at one point Adam Sandler says to turn on ESPN so he can watch the Celtics but the game is very clearly being played on TNT
— Bryan Lambert (@BryanLambert8) December 25, 2019
And as Awful Announcing pointed out, the Safdie Brothers were actually told about the mixup as well. Adnan Virk of DAZN told a story on his Cinephile podcast. In the Dec. 11 episode, Virk described attending the Uncut Gems premiere and meeting co-director Benny Safdie, who he asked about the mistake, much to the young director’s horror.
‘I just have one question for you. Why is it when Sandler is watching the basketball game he’s gambled on—Boston Celtics, Kevin Garnett, by the way, is in the movie—and then he goes to put his kid to bed after Idina Menzel, his wife, is yelling at him, and then he comes back, and his wife has changed the channel, 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.’ And you just see the blood drain out of Benny Safdie’s face.”
Via Andrew Bucholz of Awful Announcing, here’s the conversation from the podcast.
The question apparently caused a bit of panic in Safdie, though clearly the scene wasn’t changed in the film. There’s some justification to the mistake if you believe, however, that Ratner was just too frantic to know which channel the game was on. That seems to be what they settled on in the moment, at least.
“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. 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…but thankfully, again, Ben saved me, he’s like ‘Dude, whatever, the guy is losing his mind. It’s like when someone says ‘Put the game on ESPN’ and you know it’s on ABC. It’s not actually important.’ And 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.’”
Virk is wrong, of course: a lot of people noticed the mistake, myself included. But the bigger sporting error from the film, of course, is a bit more spoiler-y. We won’t give the full thing away, but something that was true in 2012 is still true today: Connecticut does not allow sports betting.
(Via Awful Announcing)