I used to be a huge Adam Sandler fan. ‘Bill Madison’ and ‘Happy Gilmore’ were family favorites growing up. (This makes more sense if you know that I only have brothers.) Unfortunately, Sandler has become known for relentlessly releasing terrible family movies one after the other in recent years. Now, he’s too far gone. Nothing can fix his tarnished image, not even a super-crude R-rated comedy like ‘That’s My Boy’.
Co-starring Andy Samberg and directed by the guy who gave us the much-better-than-expected movies ‘Sex Drive’, ‘Hot Tub Time Machine’ and ‘She’s Out of My League’, ‘That’s My Boy’ definitely has potential. Sadly, it’s all ruined by one Adam Richard Sandler and boatloads of unfunny jokes and gags.
From the get-go, ‘That’s My Boy’ tries to erase the family-friendly name that Sandler has made for himself. We meet a teenage version of his character, Donny, who has a crush on his hot teacher (Eva Amurri Martino). Immediately breaking the mold of Sandler’s latest movies, way too many scenes reiterate the same thing – the teenage boy and his teacher have an ongoing affair. That’s right, this movie opens with statutory rape. Pretty funny, right? (Add a healthy amount of sarcasm to that line and you’ll hear it the way I’ve said it.)
Shortly after the two are finally caught in the illicit and illegal act, it’s revealed that she’s pregnant with his child. This idiotic teenager is left to single-handedly take care of the baby while Ms. Mommy serves her 30-plus year prison sentence. All of this happens during the movie’s long, drawn-out intro. We finally jump to present day after an annoying and unfitting title sequence that reveals how Donny became an icon, a child celebrity, for banging his teacher. This plot line is only present to make Donny a modern wash-up of a child star. (This idea later paves way for the ‘Dickie Roberts’-style humor that follows involving Rob “Vanilla Ice” Van Winkle and others.)
What’s the actual plot of ‘That’s My Boy’? Good question, but it’s not an easy one to answer. First, it’s about a has-been loser (Donny) who must pay his back-taxes. (Wait, isn’t that the same plot to ‘Happy Gilmore‘?!). So, he plans a talk show reunion with his estranged son Han Solo (Samberg). Then it’s about a father/son connection (which frequently dabbles in unfitting sentimentality). Then it’s about Han’s wedding plans with his bitchy fiancée (Leighton Meester). Then it’s not about the back-taxes. Then it is again. There’s nudity, masturbation, pointless and unfunny vulgarity, geriatric sex, poop humor, incest and so on – all the while, Sandler does a ridiculously stupid half-Opera Man, half-gay Bostonian accent. I wish Matt Damon and Ben Affleck would kick Sandler’s ass for making this trash.
If you ever believed that Adam Sandler could return to being funny, watching the unrestrained ‘That’s My Boy’ proves that his good days are over – that is, if ‘Funny People’ didn’t already reassure you of that. It doesn’t matter which supporting actors you surround him with, what you have him say and do, or what MPAA rating the content carries, Adam Sandler is simply the unfunniest comedic actor working today.