If there was one thing you could count on in this topsy-turvy world, it was that Adam Sandler movies were really, really insincere. This security is now gone. This is the true end of innocence.There really isn't much of a middle ground when it comes to Adam Sandler. There's the Albert Brooks group, who hate him and cannot understand his success, and there's the idiots. I fall firmly into the "idiot" group, and each of his movies have made me laugh harder than any "subtle, intelligent" comedy could ever dare try. They appeal to the lowest common denominator in each of us. "Billy Madison", "Happy Gilmore", "The Waterboy" - each movie contains some of the dumbest humor you can find, but underneath, you can sense a true twisted wit. A drunken lout who chases an imaginary penguin around, a woman playing badminton with a donkey named Steve, a rest home/sweatshop - these things may make us laugh for simple reasons, but it takes a true sense of sarcastic intelligence to come up with that.
"Adam Sandler cries. What is the world coming to?"
The plot of "Big Daddy": Sandler plays Sonny Koufax, a toll-booth operator whose girlfriend is sick of his who-cares attitude, so, in an attempt to prove to her that he's ready to move on to the next level, he takes in his best friend's illegitimate son (twins Cole and Dylan Sprouse). Wackiness ensues.
In his latest movie, we sense that Sandler is trying to mature, and it frightens us. He seems to be trying to appeal to a family audience, and it really doesn't work for him. There are things in this movie that are as funny as anything Sandler's ever done, but three-quarters of the way through, he gets serious, and it's depressing to see him resorting to such a tired and cliched ending. There's a courtroom scene, tears, a father-son reunion, and even a happy ending where all the cast gathers together to hug. I almost expected the bald kids from "Patch Adams" to run in and give everyone clown noses and lead them in a rendition of "We are the World".
Is it funny? Of course. But it represents a possible change in Sandler's career, and it isn't a promising one. We see traces of the Robin Williams "So heartwarming you'll vomit on your shoes" movies, and we have to stop it. Adam Sandler is supposed to stand for dorky, frat-boy comedy involving puke, lighting dog shit on fire, and guys who may redeem themselves at the end, but you get the feeling that their fingers are crossed as they're doing it. In "Big Daddy", we get a lot of the classic Sandler humor, but we also get a lame, tear-forcing ending that makes us fear for his comedic future. And, THE FUTURE OF OUR ENTIRE WAY OF LIFE.Adam, "The Waterboy" made a shitload of money. You know your current kind of movies? You know, the funny kind? Keep making those.
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originally posted: 06/25/99 23:31:13