That’s My Boy: Review

19 Jun

Let me be frank: Adam Sandler movies have been garbage for the past decade. The last Sandler movies I enjoyed were Punch Drunk Love (2002) and Mr. Deeds (2003). For some reason though, I keep thinking the next Sandler movie will be different. Maybe he’ll be funny again like he was in Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore! So on Friday, I decided to give Adam Sandler another chance and went to see That’s My Boy.

I was cautiously optimistic about That’s My Boy because, unlike other Sandler movies, it boasts an R rating. I’m sorry, but the raunchier a comedy is the better. The movie also stars the awesome Andy Samberg, who’s had success with digital shorts and Lonely Island, but still hasn’t accomplished much with movie roles.

Sandler plays Donny, who as a teen fathers a son after an illicit affair with his high school math teacher, Ms. McGarricle (Eva Amuri Martino). Ms. McGarricle is sentenced to 30 years in prison for statutory rape and Donny’s awarded custody of their son. Of course, Donny is a crappy parent because he’s a child himself. His son, Han Solo (Andy Samberg), leaves home at age 18 and has no further contact with his father.

When Donny, older but not wiser, gets a huge bill for years of unpaid income taxes, the lousy father decides to reconnect with his rich and successful son, who has changed his name to Todd Peterson, a week before his wedding to Jaime (Leighton Meester). Since Han is embarassed by Donny, he pretends his father is an old friend.

From start to finish That’s My Boy is mean-spirited. Within the first 30 minutes, you see why Han Solo escaped and never looked back. As a child, Han weighed over 400 pounds because Donny let his son eat cake, cookies and ice cream for breakfast. When Han confronts his father about this, Donny replies with “That’s what you asked for!” Now, that Han is in shape, Donny comments that he’s lost “his boobs” and he’s no longer a “fat f**k.” Great parenting.

There are some scenes where Donny, Han Solo and Han’s Uncle Ice (Vanilla Ice as himself) are out having fun. “Fun” includes pushing people over at an ice rink, peeing on the side of a restaurant, stealing drinks from a mom and pop store and taking a child’s bike. The scenes are funny, but it shows what a jerk Donny is. It’s no wonder that Han grew-up with a weight complex and a desperate need to fit in.

What’s especially irritating is that the movie glorifies bad parenting. In an early scene, you find out that Han has told everyone that his parents were killed in a tragic explosion. At the wedding rehearsal, the priest (James Caan) gives Han his condolences. Since Donny is present, Han gets a dig in and says his father kind of deserved it. The priest asks “Did your father abandon you, beat you …etc.” When Han answers no to all the questioning, he’s chastised and called an ungrateful child. Maybe Han wasn’t abused, but Donny’s barely a functioning alcoholic and constantly demeans his son…doesn’t that count as a dysfunctional parent?

Despite all my complaining, there are some funny moments, like when Han’s fiancée Jaime tells her future husband to stop acting like a “big vagina” or when Hans pukes on and bangs Jaime’s wedding dress after his bachelor party. There are some hits, but way more misses.

I’d have to say the worst thing about the movie is that Andy Samberg didn’t have any funny lines. Samberg’s hilarious, but he’s stuck playing it straight and the whole movie suffers because of it.

Skip That’s My Boy. If you have to see it for some unholy reason, wait for Netflix. It’ll be on there in a couple of months.

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2 Responses to “That’s My Boy: Review”

  1. Christie June 20, 2012 at 4:27 am #

    Adam Sandler had better watch it. He’s going the way of Pauly Shore…

    • calmiron June 21, 2012 at 5:51 pm #

      I think it’s too late for Adam Sandler. He’s working on a sequel to Grown-Ups because no one will pay just to see him anymore.

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