Adam Sandler Week at wweek.com concludes with a review of the comic, uh, genius's latest, That's My Boy—though really, if you're looking to critical opinion to decide whether or not to see an Adam Sandler movie, well, that's funnier than anything that'll happen onscreen.
WW's Critics Grade: D
There's a running gag through That's My Boy where Donny Berger—another in a long line of man-child characters created by Adam Sandler—rescues his long-lost son (played by now-former SNL stalwart Andy Samberg) from a beating by whacking the assailant over the head with a bottle. It's an easy bit of slapstick, but also an apt metaphor for Sandler's brand of humor. The 45-year-old comedy star loves nothing more than to beat his fans into submission with broad physical humor, gross-out jokes, sexual peccadilloes, references to pop culture from 30 years ago, casual ethnic stereotyping, and the one-two punch of overweight people and elderly women saying and doing inappropriate things. The trouble is no one watching gets rendered unconscious in the process. Instead, the viewer is left to endure one bludgeoning after another until the closing credits roll.
What ties the rain of blows together in this particular film is a perfunctory plot: Donny because famous for impregnating a hot junior high school teacher. Being young and dumb, he loses all the money his infamy nets him, and alienates his son in the process. Facing the threat of jail time for tax evasion, Donny shows up unannounced at the wedding of his now grown and successful son in hopes of getting him to appear on a reality show that will net him the cash to avoid the clink. Hijinks ensue, lessons are learned, and everyone walks away happy. Freeze-frame to the tune of a classic rock favorite, fade to black.
Did I mention Vanilla Ice plays a prominent role in the whole thing? God knows I didn't need to, because what does it matter? If you're reading this, you already have your mind made up if you're going to see this movie or not. Just as the plot to an Adam Sandler movie (at least, any of the ones in which he slaps on an outrageous accent and wig) is completely unnecessary, so too is this review. You're either with him or against him, and you simply need a little reassurance that Sandler is either resting easy in his comfort zone or someone is forcibly pushing him out of his niche. So, Sandler fans, allow me to assuage you: This is more of what you want from him, and then some.