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Thursday, August 2, 2012

That's My Boy

GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


This review can also be found at Channel 24.



What it's about

After getting his teacher pregnant at the age of 13, Donny (Adam Sandler) is left to raise their son, Todd (Andy Samberg) alone. Needless to say, he does a terrible job of it and the two drift apart, but mere days before Todd is due to get married, Donny comes crashing into his life in a desperate attempt to get some money to repay his building debt.

What we thought

A few, short months ago, Adam Sandler released a film that looked to be the absolute nadir of an endlessly long “comedy” career that was really never all that great to begin with. Jack and Jill was an absolute, unmitigated disaster that, at its lowest of low points, found Sandler dressed in drag as his own sister, being hit on by Al Pacino. Dressed up as a “comedy” film, Jack and Jill was a truly hateful, steaming pile of faeces whose only redeeming feature was that it surely meant that Sandler had nowhere to go from there but up.

Sadly, that one ray of hope in what was otherwise 90-odd minutes of bleak, inescapable darkness has proven to be a bit premature. Sandler may have hit rock bottom, but he has a shovel and he is not afraid to use it. It may seem inconceivable, but there are apparently even lower levels of hell than the one which spawned Jack and Jill - and Adam Sandler seems intent in mining these levels for all they're worth. Don't let its deceptively innocuous title fool you, That's My Boy is pretty much pure, unadulterated Evil. And no, I'm not kidding.


A a multi-levelled kaleidoscope of cinematic sins, it's impossible to know where to attack it first. It's unfunny, obviously, but does the fact that it makes Mr Deeds look like Monty Python's Life of Brian truly capture just how vile an experience it is to sit through the entirety of That's My Boy? Probably not. How about the fact that this onslaught of horrific unfunniness goes on for nearly two full hours and is therefore, on a purely quantitative level, 33% more awful than the vast majority of Sandler's films to date? We're getting there, I think, but we're still on the level of mere awfulness when That's My Boy is clearly so much worse than that.

OK, lets try this out: That's My Boy is, inside and out, the ugliest film Sandler has released to date. That's right, it's even uglier than Bucky Larson: Born To Be A Star, as he takes that film's “star” (Nick Swardson) and all of its prurient, viciously unattractive sexuality and crowbars it, by way of what may well be the least sexy strip joint in all of cinema, into That's My Boy's already bloated running time. That stuff has no reason whatsoever to be there, but it's made all the worse when these strip-club scenes are so bereft of any actual sexiness that straight males would be better off watching Magic Mike.

I should point out at this point that I realise Sandler neither directed  nor wrote this film but his grubby thumb prints are so prevalent that the names Sean Anders and David Caspe might as well be pseudonyms for Sandler himself. And for all we know, they may well be exactly that. The biggest tell-tale sign is that once again Sandler's sexual politics go so far beyond your typical gross-out comedy schtick to such vomitous levels that you'll feel the need to bath in paint thinner just to get its acrid stench off of you.

This is a film where not only does the 13 year old Adam Sandler stand-in schtup his insanely hot teacher (Eva Amurri) but he's so good at it that she can't think of anyone but him from that moment on. Better yet, that is absolutely, by a hundred million miles, the most realistic “sexual relationship” that Sandler's character has in the entire film. I know, I know, statutory rape: how unbelievably hilarious! And yet, at least this young version of Adam Sandler isn't played by Sandler himself.

Once again Adam Sandler puts on his “child molester/ brain damaged idiot” voice and not only are we supposed to find it funny, we're supposed to believe that a veritable platoon of stunningly gorgeous women find him unbearably sexy. Best of all, the only woman who isn't charmed by this creepy, lecherous man-child is his son's fiancĂ© who is, would you believe it, a psychopathic super-harpy who is secretly boinking her brother on the side. Because apparently the only way a woman could possibly resist Adam Sandler is by being an incestuous, bitchy fishwife who cares about nothing other than her wedding going off so she can steal her hubby's money. Yay feminism!

Do I have to go on? It's just unspeakably horrible. And hey, Vanilla Ice is in it! No, I don't know why either, but maybe his presence here will convince Adam Sandler to take on a new career path. And by “new career path”, I do of course mean window cleaner, burger flipper or investment banker - or anything really. Just please, keep him the hell away from our cinemas. Please and thank you.


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