Wednesday, November 21, 2012

"That's My Boy" Review

A Happy Madison movie?
Oh joy...
    Adam Sandler is a good actor. It's unfortunate that I need to say this before a review of one of his movie, but Sandler is only good in certain kinds of movies. Namely, any movie not a part of Sandler's production company Happy Madison, which cranks out some of the biggest comedy box-office hits while routinely getting slaughtered by critics. Grown-Ups (Which unfortunately is getting a sequel next year), topped many worst films of the year lists and last year's Just Go With It and Jack and Jill didn't do any better. And yet, they still do well financially. Except not anymore.
    That's My Boy follows Donny (Adam Sandler) who as a teenager began a love affair with his teacher (Both Eva Amurri Martino and Suasn Sarandon), which resulted in a pregnancy. Donny's teacher goes to jail, while Donny becomes a sensation, beloved by everyone... until he grows up. Washed-up and in need of cash, Donny discover that his estranged son Todd (Andy Samberg) is getting married to Jamie (Leighton Meester) and tries to make amends.
    Yes, this movie bombed at the box-office, losing around $20 million dollars. And it's plain to see why. Surprisingly, a comedy involving a teacher-student relationship isn't all the funny. Imagine that! And oh how this movie's not funny. This is a rare R-rated movie for Sandler, and he makes good use of it. F-bombs fly and Sandler act all around crude and obnoxious because, hey, it's R-rated, so why not? The usual fart jokes have been replaced however, with the much more "R-rated" masturbation jokes. Every now and again a joke will land, but these moments are rare, and the rest of the time the film is just plain unfunny.
    Which is too bad, because the idea did have a small bit of potential. A film about a wash-up child star's life and his relationship with his estranged son could have potentially been a good movie. And, I must say that both Sandler and Samberg deliver some good performances, even if the film buries under hopelessly out-of-date jokes. Seriously, "Wazzup" is said more that a few times and Vanilla Ice is actually a main character in this movie, playing himself as Donny's friend. The film also manages to get creepier as it goes along. The main twist of the movie is downright shocking. SPOILER WARNING. See, it turns out that Jamie has been cheating on Donny with Chad (Milo Ventimiglia). Oh and Chad is Jamie's brother. Yes, the punchline of this movie is incest. Want to take a shower yet?
This is way less interesting
than it ought to be.
    Admittedly, That's My Boy is not the worst Happy Madison movie or even the worst comedy this year. But it still is miserably crude and unfunny, with Sandler stretching both the R-rating and the film's runtime to painful extremes. The film also buries some strong performances under a heavily creepy tone and a twist that's downright offensive. Sandler is about to get cut off. That's My Boy gets 2 stars out of 6.

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