The Demise of Adam Sandler
Oh man, what happened to this guy? I can honestly say that as a kid, Adam Sandler was one of my favorite actors. I used to anticipate seeing his latest movies, and when I was in middle school, my friends and I would regularly watch Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore over and over. I thought he was one of the funniest guys out there.
But then suddenly in 2005, when I was 15 years old and I just left the theater after watching “The Longest Yard,” I was severely disappointed. The jokes were flat, the acting was terrible and the product placement became so apparent to me that I turned on the film. I didn’t think anything of it. I mean everyone has a bad movie now and then, right? Then “Click” came out, then “I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry,” and then finally “You Don’t Mess with Zohan”. After four terrible movies in a row, I turned on him. I was fed up with Sandler’s lazy movies and awful jokes.
My friend and I now have a tradition that we go see the most recent Sandler movie and each time we still can’t believe that such movies exist. The worst offender has got to be “Jack and Jill.” Imagine a movie with zero plot, pointless celebrity cameos, Dunkin Donuts is featured prominently and Sandler in drag and you have “Jack and Jill.” The only nice thing I can say about this film is that Al Pacino really goes all out with his role, it’s still terrible but he didn’t phone it in.
When we saw “Jack and Jill,” we thought that there was no way people actually found these movies to be entertaining, but something happened. We saw “That’s My Boy”(still really bad but not as painful as “Jack and Jill”) and we were in a very full theater and we noticed something, people were laughing hysterically. There was someone literally slapping their knee when they laughed.
I really had to ponder this, why were people laughing? Was something wrong with me? Have I become too cynical or have I just become older than the target age range?
Think about it for a second. Almost all of his movies have a common theme to them: People getting injured (either the head or groin), some racial humor, product placement (eating establishment in particular), cameos from his failed Saturday Night Live friends (David Spade, Rob Schneider, Kevin Nealon, etc.) and sports figures, fart jokes and a nice ending where everything works out in the end where the audience is tricked into thinking the film has a heart.
I dare you think of a Sandler movie that doesn’t have at least one of these elements. Now when I say a Sandler movie, I mean one where he has some control in the production side such as screenwriting, producing, etc. He has starred in films that I really enjoyed. About a year ago I saw Punch Drunk Love for the first time and I fell in love with it but Paul Thomas Anderson directed that.
I guess the sad truth is I will never understand why people like it and I don’t. I can’t fault people for liking his movies because obviously they are seeing something that I don’t.
Despite all the critical trashing of his films, they still make a decent amount of money. We will continue to see the same movie over and over, like “Grown Ups 2,” and I continue to ask myself what happened to this guy?
But you know the question I’m really afraid to ask myself: would I have enjoyed his old movies if I saw them for the first time?