★ ★ ★ ★ out of 5 buckets | Matinee or Rental
Rated: R Nudity, crude sexual content, pervasive language and some drug use.
Release Date: June 15, 2012
Runtime: 1 hour 56 minutes
Director: Sean Anders
Writers: David Caspe
Cast: Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Leighton Meester, Vanilla Ice, James Caan, Milo Ventimiglia, Tony Orlando, Will Forte, Rachel Dratch, Nick Swardson
SYNOPSIS: Teenager Donny has an affair with his teacher, fathering a child, and raising Todd as a single parent until Todd's 18th birthday. Disappearing for years, Donny returns on the eve of Todd's wedding.
REVIEW: Director Sean Anders is most notable for writing and helming the farce Sex Drive, as well as being a comedic writer for films like Mr. Popper's Penguins, Hot Tub Time Machine, and She's Out of My League. This time around, Anders leaves the writing duties to Happy Endings creator and writer David Caspe. With the comedic talents of Adam Sandler and the SNL Digital Short wunderkund Andy Samberg, we can only hope for a raunchy good time better than Sandler's Jack and Jill or Samberg's Hot Rod.As a young thirteen-year-old boy Donny Berger (Justin Weaver) was the big man on school grounds. He and his beautiful teacher Ms. McGarricle (Eva Amurri Martini,Isolation) realize their soulmate passion for each other while in detention for Donny's inappropriate sexual innuendos. After a lengthy trist, they are eventually found out and Ms. McGarricle stands trial and is convicted for her relationship with a minor. Donny's father is given custody of the unborn baby until Donny turns eighteen, at which point Donny would take over parental duties. But when Han Solo Berger (Andy Samberg, Hot Rod) turns eighteen himself he disappears and becomes estranged from Donny. Years later, Donny finds himself in trouble with the government due to back taxes, owning $43,000. Fortunately, Donny sees that his son, now Todd Petersen, has become a successful hedge fund manager and is engaged to a beautiful girl Jamie (Leighton Meester, Country Strong). With an opportunity to get the money if he reunites him, Todd, and Ms. McGarricle at the prison, Donny crashes the wedding weekend at Todd's boss's summer house. Trying to keep the truth from his soon-to-be in-laws Gerald (Blake Clark,Rango) and Helen (Meagen Fay, Halloween II), Jamie's brother Chad (Milo Ventimiglia,The Divide), and his boss Steve Spirou (Tony Orlando), and Grandma Delores (Peggy Stewart, The Runaways), Todd does all he can to keep Donny away from the people in his new life and his secrets intact.
Very worried going into this film, I dreaded a repeat of Sandler's Jack and Jill. Comedies and comedians are really only as good as their last project, most people forgetting Sandler's pre- Jack and Jill funny and silly romantic comedy film with Jennifer Aniston,Just Go With It, or the grown up buddy flick, Grown Ups. In his latest work, Sandler channels the spirit of one of his earliest creations, Billy Madison, into a 40-year-old reckless, down-and-out, former tabloid celebrity who gained all of his notoriety from being the willing underage 'victim' to a beautiful bombshell teacher. Instant fame, a six-figure payday for the rights to his story for a television movie of Donny's exploits, and poor child-rearing experience, lead Donny to a place where he has no money, lives on the generosity of strippers still enamoured with him, and drives a barely running Pontiac Fiero. Using his sometimes stuttering, sometimes loud, sometimes stammering, always Sandleresque ways, Adam brings his typical juvenile ways to an adult delinquent role who just wants to be a good guy.
Thrust into the spotlight by stellar work on his Saturday Night Live Digital Shorts, Andy Samberg trades in his legacy of viral hits such as 'D**k in a Box', 'Lazy Sunday', and the Grammy nominated 'I'm on a Boat' for the glimmer and glamour of the big screen. With his tenure on SNL officially at a close, we can only hope that his graduation from small screen to big screen to be an easy transition. In That's My Boy, Samberg brings his physical, rubbery ah-shucks but uptight presence to his role of Todd Petersen AKA Han Solo Berger. Completely reinventing his life and back story, Todd is wholly unprepared to deal with the sudden reappearance of his father Donny. With a father who was but a kid himself, Todd ends up with so many issues that he needs a barrage of pills to keep stable.
Filled with the usual menagerie of characters, Sandler continues to support the careers of his friends such as Blake Clark. But he also illicits the help of other clever and silly people such as long-time strip club patron Kenny (Nick Swardson, 30 Minutes or Less), overweight motherly stripper Champale (Luenell, Think Like A Man), new-age co-worker Phil (Will Forte, Rock of Ages) and his wife (Rachel Dratch, Just Go With It), always formidable Father McNally (James Caan, Detachment) and former rapping star Vanilla Ice (himself). They round out the cast nicely, bringing an absurdity to the story that is over the top, silly, and out loud funny.
Funny and raunchy, the Samberg and Sandler team-up reinstates Sandler as the comedic top-dog, erasing the horrid double showing of him as a man and his sister in Jack and Jill. Filled with beer guzzling, grand-cougar sex, bare breasts, and the return to lost youth and juvenile delinquency, That's My Boy both tickles the funny bone enough to tears (especially if you liked movies like The Hangover) and has that near tender moment that Sandler likes to put in some of his films such as Click.
That's My Boy is the typical Adam Sandler fair. If you like him, you will love this movie. The film is outrageous without being outrageous for the sake of it. There are gratuitous shots of flesh and plenty of potty humor, but their use all seems to work for the right laughs. There are even some sight gags and one-liners so subtle that you may miss their humorous worth. That's My Boy brings a great soundtrack, filthy humor, crude language, and a touching message to a theater near you. Whazzup!!!
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