By Barry Koltnow, The Orange County Register –
My apologies for skipping last week’s column but, as you know, I time my summer vacations to coincide with the opening of Adam Sandler movies.
While I was working out, tanning and laundering my clothes with the cast of “Jersey Shore,” Sandler’s latest laugh-fest “That’s My Boy” opened to an unimpressed movie public.
In case you missed it, the movie stars Sandler as an irresponsible and amoral father (yes, it opened on Father’s Day weekend) who intrudes on his grown son’s nuptials in search of money. This is the same son (played by Sandler clone Andy Samberg) who Sandler’s character fathered with a teacher when he was only 13. What a delightful plot.
Although I was vacationing in one of the 50 states, I was completely out of touch with the movie business. In New Jersey, the only show business news that anyone cares about involves Snooki and The Situation, “The Real Housewives of New Jersey,” “Boardwalk Empire,” “The Sopranos,” “Jerseylicious” and, of course, “Mob Wives.”
Unable to find any information on movie openings, I made an assumption, which is always a mistake.
I assumed that Sandler’s movie would get a torrent of bad reviews from critics, as usual, but open No. 1 at the box office nonetheless. For some reason, the public never seems to tire of his tired shtick. It’s the only time the movie public disappoints me, although I know that my readers are too smart and tasteful to fall into that category.
As it turns out, Sandler’s movie came in fourth, behind two older films and Tom Cruise’s new musical.
I have nothing against Sandler personally. I have met him, and he seems like a genuinely nice fellow. My problem is that I have never found him funny in any way. And as stupid as his childish humor was in his 20s, it is moronic at the age of 45. He has a thriving production company — Happy Madison Productions — and it’s time for him to stop acting and start producing full-time. My hope is that if he does, it will end the careers of all the untalented writers and directors he has been carrying all these years. Without his support, none of them could find meaningful work in Hollywood.
This might be as good a time as any to discuss the comedy genius of Adam Sandler. I was going to list his best movies, but the list was too short, so here are the 10 worst Adam Sandler movies of all time. I should mention that all 10 are so bad that I would not be offended if you changed the order. They’re all so awful that they are interchangeable in their awfulness.
1. “Little Nicky” (2000) — Sandler plays the son of the Devil, and I felt like I was in Hell watching it. Reese Witherspoon actually appears in this movie, but her career survived.
2. “The Waterboy” (1998) — The most grating accent in Hollywood history.
3. “Jack and Jill” (2011) — The only thing worse than Sandler as an actor is Sandler as an actress.
4. “That’s My Boy” (2012) — Take my word for it.
5. “Mr. Deeds” (2002) — It’s been a decade since this monstrosity opened, and Gary Cooper is still spinning in his grave. This was a remake of Cooper’s classic “Mr. Deeds Goes to Town,” and I use the word “remake” in the loosest interpretation of the word.
6. “Grown-ups” (2010) — Sandler has always been generous to his friends, and he was especially generous in this movie, gathering all his actor friends together in one mindless film. Sandler’s aura is so toxic that even Chris Rock was humorless in this movie.
7. “I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry” (2007) — Even people who don’t approve of the gay lifestyle would be insulted by this ridiculously insulting movie.
8. “You Don’t Mess With the Zohan” (2008) — The key word here is “mess.”
9. “The Longest Yard” (2005) — I know that there are people who cite this movie as one of Sandler’s best, but those are people who either didn’t see the original with Burt Reynolds, or weren’t old enough to appreciate it when it came out. I understand that Hollywood movies are make-believe, but I can’t believe that anyone could suspend their belief long enough to buy Sandler as a professional quarterback.
10. “Billy Madison” (1995) — Sandler’s first big movie is so silly (not in a good way) that I have watched it several times in an attempt to understand why Sandler’s fans swear by it. I’ve listened to arguments that this movie is hysterical, but I am not convinced. It’s just Sandler making the same stupid jokes and the same stupid voices that he has since he was on “Saturday Night Live.” Just for the record, I didn’t think he was funny on television, either.