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Adam Sandler plays a gambling addict in ‘Uncut Gems,’ but an expert said others with the compulsion aren’t as eccentric


adam sandler uncut gems

Editor’s note: This story contains spoilers for “Uncut Gems.”

The film “Uncut Gems” tells the fictional story of jeweler and gambling addict Howard Ratner (Adam Sandler) as he makes what he calls one of the biggest bets of his life.

Ratner shows hallmark signs of the compulsion like engaging in risky behavior over and over again, and having extremely emotional or impulsive reactions, psychiatrist Dr. Matisyahu Shulman told Insider.
At the same time, “Uncut Gems” doesn’t offer a complete representation of what it’s like to live with gambling addiction, as the disorder manifests in different ways for different people.
Visit Insider’s homepage for more.

If you endured all two hours and 15 minutes of the stress-inducing thriller that is “Uncut Gems,” it’s likely you realized the film’s protagonist, a Jewish New York City jeweler named Howard Ratner (played by Adam Sandler), is addicted to gambling, an addiction that ultimately leads to his demise.

The film is set in 2012 New York City’s Diamond District, a stretch of jewelry retailers in midtown Manhattan, where Ratner has his own jewelry shop and sells various types of bling to the rich and famous, including NBA star Kevin Garnett.

When Ratner obtains a rock that contains fragments of the rare Ethiopian gem the black opal, he orchestrates various bets in an attempt to be financially set for life and, in the process, wreaks havoc on his own life.

Viewers watch Ratner as he gets locked in his car trunk while naked, partakes in bloody fist fights, and incites screaming matches with anyone who gets in the way of his gambling pursuits. He seems unlikely to ever stop gambling, despite all its negative consequences.

According to Dr. Matisyahu Shulman, a psychiatrist and addiction specialist at Columbia University Medical Center, “Uncut Gems,” to an extent, accurately portrays gambling addiction because Ratner shows hallmark signs of the compulsion like engaging in risky behavior over and over again and having extremely emotional or impulsive reactions.

At the same time, “Uncut Gems” doesn’t offer a complete representation of what it’s like to live with gambling addiction, as the disorder manifests in different ways for different people.

Ratner showed classic signs of gambling addiction

Health professionals have considered gambling addiction an actual mental health diagnosis for some time. In 1980, “pathological gambling” was added to the Diagnostic Statistical Manual, and in 2014, an updated edition of the DSM reclassified gambling addiction as a substance abuse disorder in the same category as alcohol and drug abuse disorders, according to the National Center for Responsible Gaming.

Now, gambling disorder or addiction is characterized by jeopardizing important relationships due to gambling, lying to family members, and returning to gambling even after losing money as a way to “chase” losses and get even. Ratner embodies these habits throughout the film.

For example, the jeweler lends Garnett his precious black opal-filled rock because he sees it as a gambling opportunity, even though viewers see it as outrageously risky.

In the following scenes, viewers watch as Ratner pawns Garnett’s diamond-encrusted …read more

Source:: Business Insider

      

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