That’s My Boy Review

It just seems like every year, Adam Sandler has the need to come up with one bad movie. Having derailed to his original type of humor and my tolerance for any on-screen time he has is wearing thin these days. That’s My Boy, Sandler’s newest addition, would seem like the kind of movie you would despise, hate and judge. But this time, I might have judged it a bit too fast.

Donny (Sandler) lived the ultimate teenage dream: to have intimate relations with his hot high school teacher. This “relationship” resulted in Donny being a father in his early teens and having to take care of his son, Todd (Andy Sandberg), up until Todd’s 18th birthday.

While Donny was bombarded with press and 80s glamour, he had very little values and very little managerial skills towards his son and his life altogether, forcing him to live as an eternal child. We find out that Donny owes the IRS close to 50,000$ and if he doesn’t pay up in less than a week, he will have to go to jail. Enters the thought of contacting his son, since he knows Todd is doing better than him financially, which he hasn’t seen since he moved out when he turned 18.

In the meanwhile Todd is planning the last details on his marriage with his fiancée, Jamie (Leighton Meester), and living a wealthy(er) but stressful and anxious life. Donny passes as his friend in front of Jamie’s family since Todd never revealed he was the product of teacher-student scandal and 80s phenomena.

“Their heads are all warped!”

With what seems to be a pretty shitty story for the untrained brain to process, the jokes molded around it actually kinda saved the movie (a little bit). A lot of the jokes were 80s referential humor, which included a fun bunch of cameos (mostly Vanilla Ice playing himself (!)). Very little to do with the actual story but worked well since Sandler’s character was an extreme caricature of those 80s-has-been child stars. A lot of that same decade’s music accompanied the flick (ironically) and made it really fun. It may seem cliché but paired with some extremist jokes it made it…less bad.

More comics who are used to being seen in a Sandler movie make brief appearances (Nick Swardson, Will Arnett) lighted up the mood for certain scenes and it felt like a Happy Madison project

Sandler was probably the most horrible part of the movie, sadly but with no surprise there. His voice was just really irritable and his character was just too repetitive with many gags, it just starting to grow old too fast. His character hardly learns from any of his mistakes and his persona doesn’t change till too close to the end. That is until Sandberg comes around and delivers an even performance. Being very close to what he usually plays the nervous, clumsy and perpetual smart-mouthed guy. His relationship to Sandler’s seems implausible at first due to the actors’ real age and Sandler’s thin performance.

Ladies, your treat is watching Milo Ventimiglia (that guy from Heroes), playing Jamie’s brother. His character is quite unusual but will ensure lots and lots of laughs.

Ice ice, baby.

But, after the story gets started, the jokes just keep flying at you and you will start forgetting all the issues you encounter in the first twenty minutes in. The characters start to grown on you, the humor is way over the top many, many times and it makes it so absurd that you just kinda wanna see more.

The father-son theme gets a little more credible and a bit heartwarming by the end, where you already start forgiving Sandler for having become such a bad actor. Donny “accidentally” teaches his son the values in life and has a chance to be the father he could never have been. Yes, its premise is really out there, the actors are not terribly good (except Sandberg, he did a good job) but the jokes, while being at times really gross and far-fetched (making the R rating very justifiable and worth it), make the movie likable and most importantly: tolerable.

That’s My Boy has way more bad stuff its way than good ones. But sometimes we need that guilty-pleasure movie we all know is bad but love to watch anyway. The jokes are hilarious (even the terrible ones) and the end result will surely make up for whatever bad judgment you had for the movie.

 

6.5/10

 

Theatrical release date: June 15, 2012
Director: Sean Anders
Run time: 114 minutes
 

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