Murder Mystery – Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston as Modern Day Nick and Nora

Summer is the perfect time for escapist entertainment. Netflix’s Murder Mystery, starring Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston fits the bill. Forget those depressing headlines. Grab a friend, a large bucket of popcorn, and settle in to laugh – a lot. Ok, some of it is just plain silly, but so what? The plot is clever, the actors energized, and the breathtaking scenery in Monte Carlo and Italy will make you feel like you’ve been on a Mediterranean vacation. The film is available for viewing June 14 on Netflix.

Adam Sandler, Jennifer Aniston, and Luis Gerardo Mendez

As a couple who find themselves prime suspects in more than one murder, Sandler and Aniston morph into modern day versions of Nick and Nora Charles, the husband wife team played by William Powell and Myrna Loy in the 1930s Thin Man films. Sandler’s Nick Spitz, however, is no Nick Charles: Spitz can’t shoot straight and keeps failing the detective’s exam. Embarrassed, he lies to his wife, Audrey (Aniston), a hairdresser, boasting about the promotion and bump up in pay. No surprise, then, that Audrey pushes him to keep his promise to take her on a European vacation. 

While on the plane, Audrey wanders into the first class section and meets a wealthy viscount, Charles Cavendish (Luke Evans), who invites the couple for a cruise on his uncle’s yacht. Nick and Audrey have some idea that they are walking into a difficult situation. Cavendish tells them that his fiancé, Suzi (Shioli Kutsuna), is now engaged to his elderly uncle, Malcolm (Terence Stamp), the octogenarian worth $80 billion. Onboard, they meet an eclectic collection of guests: Malcolm’s son, Tobias (David Walliams); an actress (Gemma Arterton); a race car driver (Luis Gerardo Mendez); a maharajah who raps (Adeel Akhtar); a ruthless colonel (John Kani); and his bodyguard (Olafur Darri Olafsson). When Malcolm arrives, he announces that he is rewriting his will, leaving everything to Suzi. But before he can sign, the lights go out and in the darkness someone stabs him with an ancient dagger. Tobias is the obvious suspect, but when he also is killed, suspicion turns to the interlopers: the Spitzs. 

Jennifer Aniston, Adam Sandler, and Gemma Arterton

Will Nick and Audrey be able to clear their names? Will they be able to convince the dogged French detective, Inspector Laurent Delacroix (Dany Boon, channeling Peter Sellers’ Inspector Clouseau) of their innocence?

The pool of suspects continues to grow smaller as the bodies pile up, a nod to Dame Agatha Christie’s classic And Then There Were None. (There’s a more obvious tribute to Christie at the end of the film. Watch for it.)

Photo credit: Scott Yamano/Netflix

About Charlene Giannetti (305 Articles)
Charlene Giannetti, editor of Woman Around Town, is the recipient of seven awards from the New York Press Club for articles that have appeared on the website. A graduate of Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, Charlene began her career working for a newspaper in Pennsylvania, then wrote for several publications in Washington covering environment and energy policy. In New York, she was an editor at Business Week magazine and her articles have appeared in many newspapers and magazines including the New York Times. She is the author of 13 non-fiction books, eight for parents of young adolescents written with Margaret Sagarese, including "The Roller-Coaster Years," "Cliques," and "Boy Crazy." She and Margaret have been keynote speakers at many events and have appeared on the Today Show, CBS Morning, FOX News, CNN, MSNBC, NPR, and many others. Her new book, "The Plantations of Virginia," written with Jai Williams, was published by Globe Pequot Press in February, 2017. Her podcast, WAT-CAST, interviewing men and women making news, is available on Soundcloud and on iTunes. She is one of the producers for the film "1Life After You," focusing on the opioid crisis that will be filmed in 2019. Charlene divides her time between homes in Manhattan and Alexandria, Virginia.