Anyone with even a scintilla of taste certainly recognizes that Adam Sandler’s movie career has been pretty dismal as of late, with the comedian’s arguable big-screen nadir coming with last year’s critically-panned “Jack and Jill” (and yes, the movie still made over $140 million worldwide).
Looked at from that perspective, his latest comedy, the forthcoming “That’s My Boy”, actually feels like a (very slight) step in the right direction – which of course isn’t saying much but hey, we’re talking about the guy who co-wrote and produced “Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star” here, so be thankful for small favors, yo.
In fairness, the premise of the movie at least has an interesting hook, with Sandler starring as a 40-something man who reconnects with the adult son he fathered as a teenager while having an affair with his super-hot middle-school teacher.
Andy Samberg plays the son in question, a wealthy self-made man who’s about to tie the knot with his beautiful fiancee (played by “Gossip Girl”‘s Leighton Meester) when the father he hasn’t seen in years suddenly shows up on his doorstep and, you know, hijinks ensue. Burdened with an enormous IRS bill thanks to his failure to pay taxes for the last 18 years or so, Sandler’s character is hoping his financially loaded offspring can lend him some dough before the Feds finally descend and toss him in the slammer.
In fairness, the trailer has its share of humorous moments, thanks to jokes concerning Sandler’s character’s less-than-stellar teenage/young adult parenting skills (Samberg’s full-back New Kids on the Block tattoo is a highlight) and a couple of easy “look, he just got beaned by a baseball!” broad-comedy moments, and yet the whole thing ultimately feels like pretty standard Sandler fare – which based on his recent output is not a promising sign.
Not that we expect all that much of Sandler anymore (he also produced the film through his Happy Madison banner) , but it would’ve been nice to have seen the former “SNL”-er go in a less-obvious direction with the premise here. There’s dark-comedy gold to be mined from such a conceit, and yet the comedian clearly wasn’t interested in taking any creative risks – because as everyone knows, he doesn’t already have enough money in the bank.
My grade for the trailer: C+. Watch it above and then rate it for yourself at top left!
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“That’s My Boy” is slated for release on June 15.