That’s My Boy
Running Time: 116 Minutes
Starring: Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Leighton Meester, Vanilla Ice, James Caan
Directed By: Sean Anders
Rating: 2.5 out of 10
A teenage father raises his son and then they part ways. Many years later the father is back for money and a second chance at parenting.
Adam Sandler movies always make me philosophical these days, and they just make me feel plain old. Not because Sandler himself has gotten old more that I just don’t find him that funny anymore. Could it be that this movie is hilarious to teenagers like Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore was to me? I will discuss in detail later but it makes me sad to see how far he has fallen. That’s my Boy is the tale of a boy named Donny who fathered a son named Todd while in his early teens. Donny raised Todd as a single parent and they went their separate ways on Todd’s 18th birthday. Shoot forward many years to present day and Donny is back looking for money at the worst possible time. It is Todd’s wedding weekend and it looks like Donny might not only ruin the big day but Todd’s entire life.
The film starts off as so many of Sandler’s movies do with a flashback as his character Donny as a kid. The opening scene is a pathetic attempt at humor with kids talking about sex and sexual acts that will not even register a smile on most viewer’s faces. Sadly the film never regains any traction from the opening scene letdown. Shoot forward to present day with most of the players well into midlife and what should have been a funny movie was dragged down by really everything imaginable. The story is sound and provided ample opportunities for funny dialogue and jokes but never pulls the trigger at any of the right moments. A kid raising a kid although sad morally is a great setup for hilarity. However this film took everything way too far and spoiled every joke. Donny raises Todd in the 80/90’s and so this film is riddled with pop culture from that era. Todd has a New Kids on the Block Tattoo on his back and is forced to wear a feathered earring. These are just two of the multitude of bad and unfunny references. I can see what they were trying to do in involving and evolving Sandler to try and win over the Family Guy/American Dad audiences they just didn’t know how to do it.
Sandler has been doing this for years and his audience is mostly built in if not eroding away swiftly at this point. These movies are all about going to see Sandler and his cast of crazy sidekicks do their stuff. Donny played by Sandler in this film was easily his worst character for me since Little Nicky and that is saying a lot. Donny was a 40 something year old man child. He was a cheap gimmick of a character that Sandler obviously just mailed in. At some points Donny had a high pitched intelligible lisp and at other times he was understandable with no lisp. It was like Sandler himself did not know what he was doing with the character. He goes from scene to scene cracking open beers in inappropriate places but was never funny. In fact I cannot remember anything he did that was funny. His son Todd played by the usually reliable Andy Samberg was also a miss for me. He did an admirable job as the straight laced character but really had no funny parts. His shy awkward routine never really did it for me and certainly won’t bring out the finer points of comedy we expect from Samberg. The two of them together should have been great but it was a forgettable a match as could be.
They have a bevy of support from all over the comedy spectrum and yet no one stood out when they really could have in this film. When a 300 plus pound black stripper with nipple tassels is the funniest thing in a movie you know it has failed. Just for the record Nick Swardson, James Caan, Will Forte, Vanilla Ice, and many more are in this film yet none of them are funny.
The only thing this film does do well is go with the R rating. I cannot even imagine what this film would have been like if they didn’t stick to riskier humor. Bottom line though is with Donny being such a bad character this film never could have worked. Donny is back and trying to get Todd to give him money during his wedding weekend. Donny somehow charms everyone with stupid sexual tips and advice on life. Instead of a normal reaction from people like kicking him out or calling the police everyone seems to love him even though he is a skuzzy weirdo. Donny was not a great dad and he is an even worse adult. Of course he shows up Ben Stiller Meet the Parents style to ruin Todd’s wedding. As the film dragged on you saw every joke coming and every scene would be ruined by terrible dialogue. When the end does come around not only is it painfully obvious what is going to happen you could care less that it is happening.
Sean Anders directed the surprisingly funny Sex Drive so I was shocked he put together so horrid of a film. There are a multitude of things he did wrong but the worst was the running time of this film. No one cares about the story or characters in a film like this. To have a running time of just shy of 2 hours is unforgivable. It runs half an hour to long and you will feel it. He cast poorly and I found the progression of the story unoriginal and uninspired. I will give Anders another shot because the writing (David Caspe) was way below par but he failed to deliver on almost every scene.
Not only do I not give this film my recommendation it easily could be back to back Razzies for the once sure thing Sandler. Go back and re watch his old stuff I cannot see anyone liking this even teens.
T Factor + If you are a fan of Sandler oddball characters like Little Nicky then this could score way higher on the rating scale.
T Factor – Not a fan of sexual humor than this could score lower on the rating scale.
If you liked this film reel recommendations: Little Nicky, Wedding Crashers