That's My Boy
Starring Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Leighton Meester, Vanilla Ice, James Caan, Milo Ventimiglia, Tony Orlando, and Ciara.
Directed by Sean Anders
Despite a film catalog that has grown staler than Howard Stern’s shtick, Adam Sandler still maintains a strong and loyal following. I believe most fans, like me, walk into the theater with renewed hope that his next film will be among his best. Will it be another great like The Waterboy or will it be Jack and Jill? It didn’t take long to realize that Sandler’s latest offering, That’s My Boy, unfortunately belongs in the latter category. What is truly remarkable is how low this film actually sinks in an attempt to elicit cheap laughs. Almost every form of toilet humor is on parade here and I wondered a few times why they didn’t just name this film “That’s My Dick”. The story was conceived on, rolled on and ended on all things penis-related. I’m not a prude by any stretch of the imagination and I love a good pecker joke along with the next guy, but this went way overboard. It seems that the screenplay was written to target one particular demographic, one that will laugh at every penis, ass, and breast joke they hear - twelve year old boys.
Ironically enough, those same twelve year old boys can’t even get into this movie without a parental escort due to its R rating. Maybe that’s why the studio chose this particular weekend to release this mess. Why not hope that every father and son will decide to celebrate Father’s Day at the local movie-house? After all, what dad wouldn’t gladly forego that father-son fishing trip or special day at the ballpark by engaging in some good old fashioned bonding by laughing at; an assortment of strippers, incest, molestation, assault, robbery, grandma sex, masturbation, etc., etc., etc. Unfortunately for dad, this Sandler flick doesn’t even offer the same appeal as some of Sandler’s other films such as Just Go with It (Brooklyn Decker) or I Now Pronounce you Chuck and Larry (Jessica Biel).
Sandler returned to his roots for this character by deploying his “idiot” voice, but this time it attempts to sprinkle in a quasi-Boston accent. That character is Donny Berger, who is first seen as a too-cool-to-be-a-fool thirteen year old horny little bugger who happens to be “hot for teacher” (thanks Van Halen!). Unbelievably, she feels the same for him and the two of them have constant sex until, duh, they get caught. Before being sentenced to thirty years in the big house, we see that somewhere along the way she got pregnant with little Berger’s love child. A love child who turns out to be a very rich, neurotic, and insecure weenie mess named after a Star Wars character.
Fast forward through the years of Donny living off his infamy until he is informed by his lawyer (Rex Ryan) that, lo and behold, Donny better cough up $43,000 in back taxes or else. Being the proverbial slime-ball, Donny discovers that his estranged son (Andy Samberg) is very successful, wealthy and about to have a posh wedding. Desperate to secure the funds by the sleaziest of all possibilities, Donny shows up unannounced where his son is staying hoping to trick him into helping “his old man”. It doesn’t take long for the stale and crude jokes to get flung around like that stuff the crazed monkeys at the zoo fling at visitors. What’s more mind-boggling than Sandler’s character, is how moronic all the co-stars’ characters behave. Leighton Meester as Samberg’s love interest, Milo Ventimiglia as her marine brother, James Caan as an angry priest and Tony Orlando as his boss act dumber than Sandler’s character and that’s saying a lot. Maybe director Sean Anders (Sex Drive) was merely using this film as a warm-up to his future directing gig for the Dumb and Dumber sequel and misinformed screenwriter David Caspe (Happy Endings) that he was writing a script for Eddie Murphy. On second thought, the script was worse than that.
Instead of list bashing the rest of the film, I’ll explain why I gave the film its one “star” and that goes to Vanilla Ice’s self-deprecating performance, Todd Bridges (Different Strokes) for providing some of the few laughable lines that didn’t involve references to peckers, and the very funny post Bachelor party free-for-all.
I will say that Sandler does deserve accolades solely for being a loyal friend. His movies serve as a source of gainful employment to his closest friends and family. Nick Swardson, Blake Clark, and Peter Dante once again provide a certain level of hominess, while his wife (Jackie) and two daughters (Sadie and Sunny) make cameos.
Out of the 114 minutes of your life that you will never recover, you should be thankful that Sandler left out one other aspect of sexual depravity to exploit, bestiality. Unless, that will be the theme of his next movie, “Me, Molly and Mrs. Ed”.