by Nicholas Vitukevich
Remember when everybody loved Adam Sandler? When he was atop of the comedy world?
Yeah, you remember, it was only a few years ago when everybody’s Myspace profiles read “Favorite Movie: Anything with Adam Sandler in it.” He was the comedian my father hated because of his crude acts, vulgarity and overall comedic stupidity he brought to the screen.
Now my family’s renting his movies to watch together.
Adam’s taken a wrong turn somewhere between Spanglish and Jack and Jill and the “between” consists of comedic flops like Click, Just Go With It, Grown Ups, the list goes on and on.
His most recent film That’s My Boy looks even worse as we see a now 45 Sandler trying to recreate the in-your-face humor that he sold as a 20-something.
And Adam’s production company Happy-Madison hasn’t done much better going from cult hits with Grandma’s Boy, to grandma friendly movies with Zookeeper and Mall Cop.
It was not too long ago when Adam was teaching us how to hock loogeys and slurp them back up before your spit breaks, now he’s teaching us the value of a family vacation.
I guess he first went wrong with Spanglish but he really went from comedy badass to family film with The Longest Yard. His second football film, this time more flashy, less comedy, with more star struck. Because a movie with rapper Nelly, and wrestlers Goldberg and Stone Cold Steve Austin screams success. Regardless, this was the start to his family-friendly movie style.
Then came Click that movie where Adam could magically fast forward through the parts of his life he didn’t want to deal with – spousal fights, family dinners, work meetings – because that doesn’t spell life learning lesson at the end.
Chuck and Larry brought us Kevin Jame’s first lead alongside Sandler, and was a bit better than previous flops. The concept of two straight New York City firefighters pretending to be gay to commit insurance fraud was a different concept, a little too Three’s Company, but still spelled family fun at the end of the day.
But then came Grown Ups. Sandler, James and Chris Rock. It should spell comedic greatness, but instead it was filled with mainstream clean family fun that had my parents laughing more than I was. Yes, the same parents that were cringing at scenes from Happy Gilmore and Little Nicky.
It seems he’s gone full circle from twenty-something punk to a true real life grown-up. I don’t want peeing in the pool jokes, and I certainly don’t want you to call a piss a “sissy.” I want the Adam Sandler that had midgets riding wooden horses (Happy Gilmore) and Satin shoving pineapples up Hitlers behind (Little Nicky).
That’s My Boy hasn’t even come out yet and I don’t want to see it. Becuase I know what it will hold. What every Adam Sandler movie’s held over the past 10 years – Adam runs into a problem, there’s some comedy where Adam says some stuff in a really loud, deep- yelling voice (you know, that half handicapped Happy Gilmore yelling voice he has)- then Adam will solve his probelm and there will be a moral to the story. Pretty basic. Pretty boring.
I want the Sandler that had so much comedic energy – that was sprinkled in with a little bit of mental retardation – that you couldn’t tell if he was acting or if that’s who he really was. The Sandler that beat the, “sissy,” out of Bob Barker, and was true to who he was as a comedian. I don’t want yet another family friendly movie with the same plot as the last five.
Honestly, when was the last time you really said to yourself, “I can’t wait to see that movie,” and Adam Sandler was the lead?
Adams been shooting several of his movies in the Boston area including Grown Ups, That’s My Boy and Grown Ups 2. However, for whatever reason, Sandler is neglectant to return home to Manchester, New Hampshire where he grew up and graduated High School – just a few miles north of Boston. In fact, for Sandlers most recent film, Grown Ups 2, he had built a replica of Manchesters famous Red Arrow Diner to use in the film, instead of taking the 40 mile trip north to go to the actual place.
Maybe if Sandler stops neglecting his roots, his movies will start to turn around.