That’s My Boy is a mildly successful return to the concept of stretching a “Saturday Night Live” sketch out to 2-hour movie, a style Adam Sandler seemed to perfect with his mid-90s output, including hits Happy Gilmore and Billy Madison.
But, like a Hall of Fame baseball player whose best days are behind him, Sandler in That’s My Boy scores some pretty monstrous home runs, but shows some definite signs of age and fatigue, both in their antiquated brand of comedy and next to the young face of recent “SNL” vet Andy Samberg.
One thing I’ve always enjoyed about Sandler comedies is that his main goal is to go for laughs and laughs alone.
His latest includes some seemingly genuine attempts at heart-string tugging and a deeper story at play, but Sandler’s flicks tend to exist just so he can make jokes about everything; from overweight strippers, to semen tasting, to barfing on wedding dresses, to threesomes with octogenarians (with Vanilla Ice, natch), to (spoiler alert) incest.
It’s not hard to imagine Sandler gathering up all of his Happy Madison team, partaking in a product only rich Californians can buy, and throwing joke ideas at the wall to see which ones stick.
Not many fell, it seems.
(The script is credited only to David Caspe, creator of “Happy Endings.”)
It’s because of this concept that I find his flicks a bit depressing as I leave the theater.
Despite the laughs, those of us who enjoy a variety of comedy recognize the Happy Madison formula, as it’s happening, and realize how played out it has become.
And we already know there are more of these to come.
If this was Sandler’s swan song of crude comedies, you’d have to stand up and applaud this flick for being pretty funny and commend Sandler for providing decades of sophomoric humor for those of us who enjoy it.
But at this point, these guys have these flicks down to such a predictable science.
In Prometheus, the pouty leading man guy says to Fassbender’s robot David that maybe his creator made him just because he could (to which David replied, maybe that’s why pouty leading man guy’s creator made him, too).
I kind of get that same feeling from That’s My Boy.
He made this flick because he could.
Not because he actually has anything to say.
The rest of the cast is largely forgettable, as they are in all of Happy Madison’s movies.
There’s the overbearing brother type (Milo Ventimiglia), the hot love interest (Leighton Meester), the foul-mouthed grandma type (Peggy Stewart — what, they couldn’t afford Betty White?), and the rest of the Happy Madison/SNL crew who always show up in these flicks (Will Forte, Rachel Dratch, Nick Swardson, et al).
Even Susan Sarandon goes underused.
Sandler’s schtick gets old, but they mixed up enough plot around Samberg and the rest of the cast that by the time that we approached the second hour, I was only mildly numb to Sandler’s usual antics instead of painfully numbed to it.
Samberg holds his own with Sandler, which is no small feat — quick, name another co-star of any of his comedies.
In some ways, Samberg is like a miniature Sandler (their names are even pretty similar), with the same lowbrow sense of humor, contorted facial expressions, and career trajectory.
Except, there isn’t much in this flick that shows off Samberg’s chops.
There were a few moments where the flick nearly built Samberg’s character, shifting from a mild-mannered boy to a tougher man, but following interesting narrative leads is not the purpose of a Sandler joint.
It’s far more interested in poking fun at incest and drunken boxing priests to actually be or say anything interesting.... See Complete Article @ News In Film