Um, yeah. (Pause). Wow. (Pause). (Crickets).
Don’t quite know how to start.
This one’s bad. I mean really, really bad. So bad I’ll have to consciously stop myself from putting all my adverbs in bold or italics.
Adam Sandler’s movies are not known for their lofty narratives or artistic ambitions. They are base and crude and aimed squarely at teenage boys who frequent malls while they should be at home doing their calculus homework. As long as this target demographic gets its weekly allowance, we can expect Adam Sandler to have a film career. May God have mercy on the movie ushers among us.
There is no plot in this movie (none at all – in fact, I defy anyone to prove otherwise) but there is a premise not unlike other R-rated comedies (or comedy wannabes) and here it is: Sandler stars as Donny Berger, a washed up 80s phenom whose life has fallen apart. He sired a son whom he lovingly refers to as ‘Hans Solo Berger’ (Andy Samberg) who has, despite all odds and his genetic heritage, managed to make something out of his life. Donny’s only hope to save himself is to beg his son for help. It doesn’t help his cause that his son hates him. You can see where this is going.
Formula is king in these movies, but the film also goes out of its way to be as raunchy and disgusting as possible. It’s as if every page of the script began with the heading ‘Must Out-Raunch The Hangover‘. The only difference is that The Hangover was both clever and raunchy, while this latest disaster from Sandler is neither. It’s gross: college dorm shared toilet on a Sunday morning gross.
It goes without saying that Sandler plays his part as a juvenile prat who is neither likeable nor funny. I suppose it’s too much to expect him to care at this point. But I was absolutely slackjawed at how resoundingly dull Samberg’s characterization and performance turned out to be. If this is what his film career has in store for him, I suggest Samberg beg Lorne Michaels for his old spot on SNL back. Those three-minute digital shorts are hella funnier than the entire two hours of That’s My Boy.
If he isn’t careful, That’s My Boy could do for Samberg’s film career what Taxi did to Jimmy Fallon’s: Kill it.