Monday, July 2, 2012

That's My Boy (C-)

Usually when writing the reviews for this site, I attempt to keep a somewhat high standard for the films reviewed, so that there will be less scathing critiques featured. However, mostly as result of the "Summer of Scares" feature, coupled with having watched generally mediocre features for the last two month, this watermark has slowly been lowered to the point where the subject of my last review had the title The Girl with the Naked Eye, and not a single explicitly positive review was written in the entire month of June. This is something I'm going to be far more active in trying to prevent in the future: Since the fourth week of June, I've only watched thoroughly enjoyable movies I'm proud to have seen. While a massive leap forward for the quality of the films reviewed on the site is in order, a few ruminants of the dark era remain. Hopefully the last pessimistic review in a long time, lets begin focusing on our "meh" subject: The biggest Adam Sandler box office bomb since Little NickyThat's My Boy. Yes, I'm reviewing an Adam Sandler movie.

For better or for worse, I've usually considered myself to be a fan of Sandler's films. Once every two or three Grown Ups or Jack & Jills, the man makes something downright entertaining, if not completely hilarious (His 2008 film You Don't Mess with the Zohan continues to be endlessly amusing as it frequently appears on television). However, my main interest in going to see the film wasn't Sandler this time, but rather his costar, the newest SNL vet Andy Sandberg. Sandberg has been one of my favorite performers on SNL for a very long time, and after seeing him in small supporting roles for a variety of comedies, I was interested how he would do in his first major role in a blockbuster Hollywood movie. I knew from experience that almost all films released under the Happy Madison title were more joke-based than quality filmmaking, so looking for a laugh or two, chose to see the film with the understanding it could easily be mediocre. Would the great pairing of two comedic actors who I usually enjoy make the film worthwhile? The sad answer to this question is: Not really.

That's My Boy is nothing more than the average Sandler vehicle replete with the bonus profanity, sexuality, and crudity that's allowed with an R rating. However, extra gross out humor isn't necessarily a good thing. Other than a few solid jokes involving a washed up Vanilla Ice (don't ask), most attempts at disgusting comedy fail miserably. For example, a revolting strip club where Donny (Adam Sandler) frequents is often mined for laughs, but comes off more as a depressing hell hole than anything else. I feel terrible for actress Luenell, who plays an obese stripper forced to degrade herself in the name of plain horrendous humor. There're certain jokes here which I can't possibly imagine anyone finding necessarily funny, let alone up to the standard of traditional Sandler comedy.

For better or for worse, I've usually considered myself to be a fan of Sandler's films, but for the most part this was just terrible. More depressing than funny, screenplay writer David Caspe seriously needs to examine his morals, or at least realize the misfortune of others can't carry most of a film's jokes. Other than the admittedly funny twist ending, the one thing That's My Boy can pat itself on the back for is being a little better than Jack and Jill. Even as someone who openly admits to liking Adam Sandler, this was still pretty bad.

Grade: C-

1 comment:

  1. Usually, I don’t think that comedies should have any rules as if almost anything goes, as long as it makes me laugh. Sadly, this one didn’t make me laugh it just annoyed, bothered, and even insulted me. Seriously, when has incest ever been a funny thing to point jokes at? Sandler needs to go back to Funny People-ish roles. Good review David.