I have a hard time believing that there’s an actual script behind the latest R-rated Adam Sandler comedy titled That’s My Boy. It plays out so much like every other Sandler comedy, with his old friends making forced cameos on top of the massive amounts of recycled gags from the nineties. That’s My Boy goes beyond recent bullshit attempts like Jack and Jill, but barely. Its juvenile humor is rehashed from Sandler’s “better” days, which I’m starting to think never really existed. Jack and Jill was proof that Sandler only cares about the money and That’s My Boy is a simple reminder that Sandler can get anything green-lit by the studios, even if it’s moronic, bloated and 15 years too late.
At age 13 Donny (Adam Sandler) had a fling with his teacher and ended up getting her pregnant. He lived the wild life of being a teen superstar as Hollywood came flocking for the breaking story, thus creating a TV movie and tons of other outlets for Donny to enhance his public image. When his son Todd (Andy Samberg) became of age he immediately moved and changed his life.
Todd isn’t even his real name, but that doesn’t stop Donny from searching for his long lost son. Todd is in the process of getting married, which is how Donny stumbles upon him while reading a magazine. Donny owes a ton of tax money and his wealthy/financially successful son just might be his ticket out of the slammer.
The two meet and chaos quickly follows, but Donny and Todd slowly start to spark old feelings for each other. The two realize just how important the other is in their life. They have the most fun with each other, despite Donny being a complete idiot and Todd not falling too far from the tree.
What follows is roughly an hour and a half of some of the most painful “comedy” I’ve ever had to sit through.
I’m one for stupid movies. I absolutely love R-rated comedies because sometimes the best things in life are the dumbest and most nonsensical ones, but even I have a threshold. On several occasions That’s My Boy crosses dumb Adam Sandler comedy territory into bottom-of-the-barrel pathetic attempt at humor territory. Some of the jokes shouldn’t even be classified as jokes, because there’s not one single moment in them where a laugh seems appropriate.
Sandler and his director Sean Anders have no problem scraping out fart jokes and stale sex scenarios to try and get a rise out of the audience. They take full advantage of the R-rating, which means they force in as many curse words as possible, even if something much tamer would have sufficed. Using vulgar language does require a certain skill, which isn’t possessed by Sandler or Anders in That’s My Boy.
The script was written by David Caspe, but I’m curious to know just how involved Sandler was, because there’s plenty of Happy Madison characters like the recently attached Nick Swardson and every other Sandler reject. It’s hard to get anymore annoyed at this point, because after Jack and Jill I’ve naturally learned to accept that Sandler has thrown away any talent that he had left from his glory days.
The weirdest possible problem with the film is Andy Samberg. Not only does he feel horribly miscast, but most of the jokes he’s supplied with falls at the waist side. It pains me to say this, but Adam Sandler‘s frightening accent was more convincing than any of Samberg’s emotional breakdowns or anger tantrums. Andy Samberg is a great comedic actor, but he clearly isn’t set out for third grade level Happy Madison stuff, which is great to know!
Milo Ventimiglia and Will Forte are the only bright moments in the film. Ventimiglia gets a chance to show us his over-the-top silliness that he does with a balancing act of serious and psychotic and Forte mostly sticks on as a supporting role with quick reflexes and the ability to turn some of the worst writing into passable pieces of dialogue.
That’s My Boy is just a continuation of Sandler’s downhill career. It’s better than Jack and Jill, because this time there’s only one Sandler to deal with, plus he’s surrounded himself with actual talent like Will Forte, Andy Samberg and Milo Ventimiglia. There’s an out-of-nowhere twist at the end that took me by surprise only because I didn’t think the film was worried about surprising the audience or giving us any sort of story to chew on. It’s not all that great, but it does feel fresh in such a stale attempt at humor.
There’s no reason anyone should have to witness such an atrocity of a film. You shouldn’t need me to tell you to skip this one and if for some reason you do then perhaps you should just stick with some older Sandler comedies. Even his fans need to draw the line somewhere…
That’s My Boy – 3/10