By now, it’s starting to look like “That’s My Boy” is taking a bit of a hit at the box-office this weekend, a shock after the almost unassailable commercial strength of his movies over the last decade or so. After all, when something like “Grown-Ups” can make a Scrooge McDuck-sized pile of cash, it’s not like the viewing public is exactly discerning when it comes to Adam Sandler’s films.
So what happened with “That’s My Boy”? Although our own Geoff Berkshire wrote the official HitFix review, I’d just add that the film reminds me of Sandler’s early comedy albums and his first few films in the way it feels unfettered, like anything goes. The R-rating seems to have allowed Sandler and his crew to try some things they haven’t tried before, and, yes, the results are crude and often breathtakingly crass, but I’d rather see Sandler lay it all out there like this than sleepwalk through a vacation video with his millionaire buddies.
You’ve got to get everyone on board if you’re going to make a movie as completely deranged as “That’s My Boy,” from Sandler to the supporting cast to Sean Anders, the director of the film, who also made “Sex Drive” a few years ago. I’ve run several interviews this week with cast members, including Sandler and Andy Samberg, but this last interview we’ve got for you tonight is actually three of them put together.
First up was Will Forte, who seems perfectly happy to play the grossest material possible in the film. I had the boys help me play a “MacGruber” themed joke on Forte mid-interview, standing behind me with “KFBR392” signs held up so he could see them. We also interviewed Ciara, a young singer who has a featured role here, and based on the way she piled the hugs on Allen at the end of the interview, I have a feeling she would have happily smuggled him out of the press day if I hadn’t been paying attention. And then finally we sat down with Leighton Meester, who plays Samberg’s fiancee in the film, and who has a very (VERY) dark secret in the movie.
“That’s My Boy” isn’t going to win anyone over who hates Sandler completely, and based on the reactions I’ve been reading, there are certainly plenty of you who have given up on him at this point. But if you do like his work, I think it’s an intentionally disgusting return to form, and worth seeing.
“That’s My Boy” is playing now.