Published on July 7th, 2012 | by Thompson0
Adam Sandler Makes First Film Worth a Damn in Over a Decade
When I heard about Adam Sandler’s latest film, That’s My Boy, needless to say I was hesitant to pay money to see it. The last Happy Madison Production I thoroughly enjoyed was Big Daddy – 13 years ago. So when I heard Sandler was making another daddy picture to be released, fittingly, on Father’s Day, there was a very small part of me saying, “It could be kinda funny.” That was the exact phrase I used when speaking to my cousin about what we were going to see. I was actually trying to get him to see Prometheus, but he wasn’t having any of that, and we certainly weren’t going to see Rock of Ages. “I like the ’80s, but I couldn’t sit through a musical about the worst decade in music history,” I said. I hadn’t seen the trailer for That’s My Boy or read any reviews, so I was going to the theater with no expectations…and I was going stone sober.
Well, we tried to go to the theater, but my van wouldn’t start, so my cousin drove and got us there just in time. We saw his dad’s Suburban in the parking lot, and my cousin assumed correctly that he was seeing That’s My Boy. When we got to the box office we were about to buy $5 tickets for the show, but my dad said he had already bought us tickets, so we saw the film for free, but in retrospect, I would have paid $5 to see it.
So here’s a summary: Donny Berger (Sandler) fathers a child with his middle school math teacher, Ms. McGarricle, who is played by the superhot Eva Amurri Martino from my favorite season of Californication. Though they love each other, Ms. McGarricle is sent to prison for rape, and Donny is forced to raise his son, Han Solo Berger, alone. Donny becomes a teenage idol for his antics and is never around for young Han, who grows up to become stockbroker Todd (Andy Samberg). Donny’s Hollywood lifestyle puts him in hot water with the IRS, so Donny attempts to reunite with his son before his wedding to get the money he needs to stay out of jail.
I can honestly say I haven’t laughed so hard in a long time. I had my sunglasses resting on the bill of my Twins cap and dropped them 3 times during the movie from throwing my head back laughing. Sandler is what you’d expect – goofy, raunchy, and a bit annoying – but effective nonetheless. Todd’s character is a real bitch until Donny gets him drunk during his bachelor party and makes up for all the lost time. Dan Patrick excels in a small role as a talk-show host and there’s even a cameo by Rex Ryan, who can’t act at all, but it’s written well enough to still be moderately funny. James Caan makes an appearance as a former-boxer-turned-priest and nails it as expected, but the real hero of the film for me was Vanilla Ice, who plays himself as Donny’s longtime friend. Every minute he’s on screen you’re laughing. He really knocked it out of the park, and I expect we’ll see a lot more of Vanilla Ice on the big screen and TV.
Even though the plot is wildly predictable and filled with gimmicks to get laughs, the gimmicks work. The raunchiness is something that’s been missing from Sandler’s career for awhile now, and if he plans to continue in show business I suggest he take it to the max. I just don’t see Adam Sandler making too many funny PG-13 movies, unless, of course, they’re animated. Sandler belongs in the raunchy, stoner-drunk comedy genre, and if he strays from that genre he does so at his peril. But I have to tip my cap to him on this one. It’s the movie I’ve been wanting him to make for over a decade. Oh, and the soundtrack kicks ass.
THE VERDICT (88/100): The funniest movie I’ve seen in theaters since Hangover 2. See it in theaters if you still can, but it’s a great renter as well. It would be even better if you could go drink for drink and smoke for smoke with Sandler and Vanilla Ice in the comfort of your own home. Absolutely worth $5 and 2 hours of your time. You’ll laugh your ass off.