Movie Review: That’s My Boy

Stars: Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Leighton Meester, Milo Ventimiglia

Rated R for crude sexual content throughout, nudity, pervasive language and some drug use, Running time 114 minutes, Comedy

Compare to: Wedding Crashers (2005), You Don’t Mess with the Zohan (2008)

That’s My Boy, which also could’ve easily been titled, “*#$^ You, I’m Adam Sandler and I Get Paid.” Man, I don’t know if I’ll be able to keep any semblance of a professional tone while typing this. But screw it, I’m a nobody and I’m doing this for free- if this movie were a house, I would burn it down and urinate on the ashes. Yet at the same time, it feels like that’s what this is going for; “Yeah, we made a terrible movie and YOU watched it! That’s the real joke!” Should I even summarize the story? Okay, here goes the same template that’s been used only a thousand times over-

Donny Berger (Adam Sandler in his biggest middle finger to moviegoing audiences yet) had an affair with his teacher when he was only thirteen. He became a media sensation for this, but it didn’t stop there; book deals, tv movies, drugs and girls throughout the 80’s. Now that Donny’s going to jail in the present day, he has to find a way to make enough to pay back the IRS for not paying taxes for years. He decides to get in contact with his son, who now is a successful business man (Andy Samberg). It doesn’t matter what he does, he’s rich and he’s lame. Enter Donny, on the week before his son’s wedding who now wants to make amends with his son as well as get the money he owes. Can Donny get the money? Can he make up with his son? Do you care?

Here I am under false pretenses. I shake things up and make your life crazy- in a good way! I’m eventually found out and things get depressing for ten minutes. Then you realize that I’ve changed over the last hour and now we begin our new, healthier relationship.

Is this Houseguest (1995)? Is this The Three Amigos (1986)? No, because I actually like those movies. Yes, even Houseguest. I understand that comedies aren’t even really about the story so much as they are about the comedy and entertainment value.

That’s My Boy is neither funny nor entertaining in any way. Imagine a guy in a movie theater with his elbows on his knees and his hands covering his face in shame and embarrassment. I want you to also imagine a guy who shouldn’t be so annoyed because it’s not like he paid for the movie. It’s not like it’s any skin off of his back if the movie’s no good, right? Wrong, because he wasted his time, his friend’s time and he filled his mind with unfunny garbage a 6th grader could’ve written. Can you guess who both of these guys are? It’s a trick question, because both guys are the same. They’re both me, if you couldn’t tell.

I remember looking around my theater to see if anybody else was in the auditorium, seeing how it was completely silent. This is not a good sign, people. Hangover 2 (2011) was terrible, but even then, audiences that chose to see it liked it for the most part. This wasn’t even a movie worthy of charity laughs. I feel like Adam Sandler should have paid me for watching it.

This doesn’t come from a guy who’s always hated Adam Sandler either, I want you to know. This is coming from a guy who defended Adam Sandler’s last decade or so of movies to friends who had long given up on him. I think back to Billy Madison (1995) and Happy Gilmore (1996) and yeah, people get older and their styles change, much like a band should. You’ve got to evolve. But while the picture of evolution shows an ape standing upright to eventually resemble a man, Sandler’s chart could be mirrored to show him changing back into an ape. And I truly hate saying that.

While I wasn’t a fan of last year’s Jack and Jill or really most of the things he’s done in the last decade, I’ve always thought it was cool that he’s had his own production company, works with the same people, seems to have fun with what he does and gets them all a paycheck simultaneously.

But this is just pure laziness. I laughed at the South Park jokes made about his cliche plots but I never fully subscribed to the idea that Sandler sucked because I wanted to like his stuff again. But like a friend who refuses to keep his word no matter how many chances you give them, Sandler is just getting worse.

If I were to mention anything in the movie, it wouldn’t be giving anything away. If you’ve seen the trailer, which there is no link to because I don’t want to do that to you, you know what to expect. Adam Sandler is crazy and doesn’t care about the rules. He’s a jerk, but you love him. Party! All the time! It never stops with the Sandman around! Anybody who isn’t like him is a stuffy snob that doesn’t know how to live! Weeeeee. As much of an idiot as Sandler’s character is supposed to be, they still felt the need to fit in that his genitals are huge and big boobed women love him, much like Billy Bob Thornton in the Bad News Bears remake (2005).

Yet how do you make a character like Sandler’s redeemable? Not only do they eventually try to make him do better by his kid, they have to write the characters around Donny’s son ultimately look worse than him. And sure they do, but the depraved lengths they go to convince us isn’t surprising since we already know this movie is purposefully aiming low. Guess Sandler and co. felt the need to make R-rated crap like this since Jack and Jill was PG.

I don’t know. I’m trying to rationalize anybody creating this movie. Oh, wait. They were all getting paid and have fully utilized the benefits of not having to try anymore. Three cheers for laziness. But hey, at least you only have to put up with Nick Swardson in a side role. It seems that Sandler’s normal crew (Rob Schneider, Allen Covert, etc.) didn’t even care to show up for this one. I don’t blame’em.

Man, I hated this movie.

Grade: F


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