Friday, May 11, 2012
If you follow me on Twitter, you may remember me mentioning a Nielsen movie screening I went to a couple of months ago. I said it was so terrible it wasn't even worth it being free to see it. Several tweeps asked for the details, but viewers were asked to keep things hush-hush for a bit as it was still in the final editing stages.
About a week ago, the first reviews started popping up, so I think it's safe to add my own two cents. (As a disclaimer, I wasn't paid to do a review, I just like to share my opinion, and I consider this a PSA.)
I realize that I'm not a member of the target demographic. That said, I have a pretty decent ability to see the humor in most comedies, even if I don't find them hilarious. For example, Dumb and Dumber. Not my cup of tea, but I see how it can be funny. Even raunchy stuff that goes beyond my comfort zone and really pushes the envelope, like The Hangover, I can appreciate. (Though I really, truly just don't get the appeal of the The Big Lebowski. But I digress...)
So when I found out the screening I got tickets to was for Adam Sandler's newest release, That's My Boy, I knew my reaction would be unpredictable. I like a lot of his more recent projects (Grown-Ups, Just Go With It) better than some of his older works (Billy Madison, Little Nicky). His stuff is hit-or-miss for me.
That's My Boy was a huge, gigantic miss.
The premise is a where-are-they-now follow up about a teenager who got his high school teacher pregnant. She went to jail for 30 years and the boy raised the baby until he turned 18 and left home, wanting nothing to do with his lame dad who sucked at parenting and can't get over his 15 minutes of fame from having knocked up his teacher.
Donny (Adam Sandler), the once-famous-teen, is now broke and owes thousands of dollars of back taxes. If doesn't pay them, he has to go to jail. He reaches out to all the old tabloids to run another story on him to get some cash, but no one's interested. Until they come up with the idea to reunite the son, Todd (Andy Samburg), and his mother at the prison and surprise them on camera. Adam crashes his son's wedding weekend to convince him to visit his mom by telling him his mom's dying. Embarrassed that he's there, Todd tells all of his fiancee's family and friends that Donny is an old friend of his. He had told his fiancee that his parents had died when he was young.
Adam Sandler did a terrible job with a fake Boston (?) accent. Andy Samburg was pretty good in his role. The best parts were the cameos, music and 80's references. I think I only actually laughed five or six times. Most of it was just awkward and trying too hard. There's a scene about incest that was completely disgusting. The worst part was that instead of just showing a frame to make the point and moving on, the scene lasted five more minutes. It was unnecessary and uncomfortable.
And that doesn't even touch on a hugely offensive aspect of the movie, the fact that it sensationalizes statutory rape. That's addressed in this review: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2012/05/02/there-nothing-funny-about-rape-and-adam-sandler-new-movie-that-my-boy/
To sum up, this gets a zero out of any number of stars. Don't waste your time or your money.