haven’t looked forward to an Adam Sandler film since Punch Drunk Love, but I have been monitoring his latest film, You Don’t Mess with the Zohan, with heightened interest – and not because I feel Dennis Dugan is about to turn a corner and become the next Howard Hawks. Though the premise – a Mossad agent fakes his own death so that he can flee to New York City and become a hair stylist – really, truly underwhelms, there’s this: the script is credited to Judd Apatow and Robert Smigel.

And Sandler. And, again, it’s directed by Dennis Dugan (who, to be fair, helmed Sandler’s best comedy to date, Happy Gilmore). And when you watch this just-released-to-Yahoo! theatrical trailer… man, it shows. But I’m going to continue to hold out hope that there’s enough Apatow and Smigel in the screenplay to make Zohan more than just another excuse for Adam Sandler to haul in another $20 million payday. True, it doesn’t look too promising at the moment, but it’s not like Smigel’s sensibility is highly saleable; there could be enough utterly random humor in this film to make it worth our while. Or Sandler could’ve drained all the weird out of the script and turned it into Click II.

At the very least, there’s plenty of Emmanuelle Chriqui to ogle. Then again, that didn’t exactly save the last two seasons of Entourage, did it?

We’ll find out if this is decent or dreadful June 6, 2008.