Movie Review: “That’s My Boy”
By Marcus Flewellen
Starring: Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Leighton Meester, James Caan
Written by David Caspe
Directed by Sean Anders
Adam Sandler let down critics and audiences last year with his deeply-reviled cross-dressing family flick “Jack and Jill”. (I’ll be honest: I didn’t watch it. Life’s too short.) Now he’s returned with “That’s My Boy”, a raunchy, immature, offensive, hard R-rated comedy that’s so far failed to connect with critics and audiences (only $13 million in its opening weekend — Sandler’s lowest in about a decade). Which is a shame, because “That’s My Boy” is a good film.
I know, I know, I know; I’m just as shocked as you are. I certainly wasn’t looking forward to spending 7 bucks and almost two hours of my valuable time watching a terrible Sandler film. But I don’t know; maybe it was my low expectations, maybe it was my low expectations, maybe it’s because I’m still an amateur 17-year-old man, but I had a great time at “That’s My Boy”.
Andy Sandberg, who just graduated from “Saturday Night Live”, plays Todd, a wealthy thirty-something who’s engaged to beautiful Jamie (played by Leighton Meester). Todd is — this is his words — “the product of an inappropriate student-teacher relationship”. The student, thirteen-year-old Donny, knocked up his middle-school teacher (Eva Amurri-Martino) and became something of a celebrity. (Doesn’t sound funny, but it is.) The teacher gets 30 years in jail; Donny gets to raise their child. Flash-forward twenty-seven years, Todd is successful, but adult Donny (Sandler) owes $43,000 in back taxes to the IRS. A reality-show host promises to give Donny $50,000 if he can get his son to the women’s penitentiary for a special reunion episode. So Donny decides to go visit his son, who’s told everyone that his parents died in a freak explosion. Nice.
What happens next is…….well you can guess what happens next. Jokes about things that I can’t write about here. (Mainly because I don’t want to spoil anything.) This movie definitely isn’t for the faint of heart. But for those that can stomach the gross-out gags, the messy plot and the slightly overlong running time, then you’re in for a treat. Like I said, I don’t want to say anything. Let’s just say that there are some great celebrity cameos. (I’ll give you a hint: The second-best white rapper ever makes an appearance here. He’s hilarious.)
Is it a masterpiece? No. Far from it. Like I mentioned, the film is too long, some of the jokes do fall flat, and it suffers from a problem that a lot of mainstream comedies suffer from —– a lack of strong, funny female roles. (Women can be funny, too!) But don’t let the critics and the box-office fool you, this is a good comedy. Watch it with your dad; nothing says father’s day like jokes about fat strippers and incest, right? Right?
3 stars out of 4