Todd Peterson (Andy Samberg) is about to marry the wrong woman (Leighton Meester). Aside from that he has created a new life after being estranged from his family since the age of 18. He has immersed himself in an odd circle of wealth and friends, in which he somehow finds comfort.
On the outside everything is going to plan. Todd, the pushover, is about to become content in his miserable but wealthy life. Enter Donny Berger (or Burger? Can’t find the correct spelling and too hungover to care). Played by Adam Sandler. Donny spins Todd’s false world into chaos as he scrambles to conceal his secret. The secret being that Todd is really Han Solo Berger, Donny’s son from an inappropriate student/teacher relationship.
Donny was a young teenager when he gained sole custody of Han Solo, so his upbringing was riddled with comedic antics, instead of all that torturous staged drama that MTV tries to install from those preggo teen shows. What a crock, fill ’em up, kids!
Whatever happened to music videos?
Donny then tries to reconnect with his son, and correct the wrongs in his life…all while being drunk and obnoxious.
This is Sandler’s attempt to return to the raunchy, dick and fart jokes that made him a pop culture icon of the 90’s. There was no doubt about it; the language and content of this film was geared towards the teenage boy audience. The jokes were constant, many of them misses that are saved by a handful of laugh out loud moments of visual absurdity.
The soundtrack is excellent. It’s perfect drinking music, and the fact that Adam Sandler has a beer in his hand in EVERY scene encouraged the audience to drink as well, in turn making the movie funnier. (Disclaimer: WARNING, sober people over the age of 15 WILL NOT enjoy this movie)
As usual in Sandler movies, the surrounding cast are the main source of the comedy. Nick Swardson and Will Forte provide enough comedy in their limited roles to deliver the majority of laughs. Also a fat guy that was in a scene for probably 3 minutes was worth the price of the film alone.
As for Sandler, he acts as the usual hyper-exaggerated over the top version of one of his characters. For this one he channels Toll Booth Willy. For those of you that don’t get the reference, before Sandler dominated the late 90’s with classic comedies such as Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore, and The Wedding Singer, he produced an album that was worth the price of gold in the black market of middle schools everywhere. The “They’re All Gonna Laugh At You” cassette broke the mold from traditional standup to audio sketch comedy, and it jumpstarted his career outside of SNL.
This is a walkman, btw, kids. The only connection a young kid had to true comics in an era where even the cable channels stopped broadcasting during the night
“They’re all gonna laugh at you… They’re all gonna laugh at you!” Once upon a time Sandler RULED the comedy scene. He was on top of the world, and any new Sandler movie was a must see. So what happened?
Why couldn’t I convince ANYONE to come see this movie with me?
What is behind the fall of one of the greats?
Why does his former fanbase cringe at the thought of a new Sandler movie?
Did the money get to him? I doubt it, he still seems like one of the nicest and most genuine celebrities out there.
Was it that he didn’t have the chops to crossover into drama like every comedian before him? No, he was fantastic in Punch Drunk Love, Spanglish, and Reign Over Me.
So, what was it you ask?
The answer is simple…MARRIAGE AND FAMILY. In 2003 Sandler was married, and soon he had a family of his own. Now, I too am a family man, and hey, it’s great, don’t get me wrong… But as Adam Sandler can testify, it sure does mess up the wiring of the “funny filter” a little bit. After 2003 the wheels fell off the Sandler bus and it began spiraling out of control (All the while he made millions doing so).
Perhaps that’s why all the great comedians were horrible family men. I can’t explain it… and hate to think it, but DOES having a family suck the funny out of men? Probably. Oh yeah, Happy Father’s Day by the way from those of us here at MovieBoozer!
The other factor in the downfall of Sandler films was the infusion of “heart”. For some reason Adam loves to add an emotional element into his movies that wasn’t apparent in his early films. He wants to tug at the heartstrings of the audience. With his over the top characters, it just doesn’t seem to mesh. In this film he “NEARLY” pulled it off, keeping the sentiment low, but still, it’s in there. It was a clear fault in every one of his comedies in the last decade. Why feel the need to add depth to Toll Booth Willy? It’s a simple recipe that worked in all the great comedies, NO DRAMA. The audience doesn’t want to go “aaaawww, that’s soooo nice” They want to laugh! Was there sadness when Tubs died in Happy Gilmore? NO, we all laughed at the scene. But when the Fonz died in Click we didn’t even think it was a comedy. ENOUGH of the drama, you’re not going for an Oscar as the guy dressed like Bruce Springsteen masturbating to old ladies that happens to get emotional for a hug from his estranged son. Lets just keep the yucks coming and leave the drama for the scripts they were meant for.
Adam Sander has joined the likes of Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro. Not in the distinguished actor category, but in the “caricature of their former self” category. You know exactly what to expect in his comedies. Awkwardness, bursts of angry aggression, and laughing over lines… all leading to the eventual exhaustion of the overplayed shtick. Although I did enjoy some laughs in this film, Ican’t help but feel it was written from a 12 year old’s point of view. Boobies were everywhere, boners were a-poppin’, and Sandler plays a fun, happy drunk in every scene. Well guess what? In real life, a guy that drinks alone as much as Sandler in this ISN’T as happy go lucky or fun to be around.
Working on the next Sandler script
Not the return to form of the Sandler films of the late 90’s, but then again, who’s still expecting that to happen? The critics are going to blast the hell out of this movie…but they are all sober. They cannot see that this movie is a comeback for Sandler to capture the young preteen audience. For the rest of us, this one keeps the drama thin and delivers a few surprising laughs. It’s a late night rental, made to be watched drunk… and that’s the only way it should be watched.
Bonus Drinking Game
Take a Drink: everytime someone says “Waaasssssuuuuppp”
Take a Drink: whenever Sandler cracks open a beer
Take a Drink: whenever someone is referred to as “guy” (the New Englander sip)
Down a Shot: VANILLA ICE???
Down a Shot: when he actually says “THAT’S MY BOY”