That’s My Boy – A SPOILER FREE REVIEW!
Why am I always so on the defensive with comedy these days?
Not really sure if this makes me a contrarian or what, but one of the things I miss most about the ‘90s is that it was like a mid-budget comedy-film heaven. A time where studios were investing in sillyness, stupidity and laughs on a consistent basis, and where the cynicism born out of the soon-to-come net-generation was nowhere in sight. Sue me…I loved the Hollywood that could release films like Dumb and Dumber, Wayne’s World, Coneheads, Tommy Boy, Happy Gilmore, Dirty Work, Cabin Boy, etc. Comedy is undoubtedly my favorite genre, I was raised on it, and those were the type of films released during my impressionable years. It was practically on tap at the theater, and I make no apologies for loving them. Why did it all stop? Can’t really be sure, but perhaps it was some mixture between the fact that Hollywood no longer can make a mid-range budgeted film anymore AND somewhere along the lines comedy in film became associated with bad cinema.
I blame Tarantino, and I’ve been accused of being a Tarantino fanboy…but in my humble opinion, Tarantino is to studio comedy films what Nirvana is to “Fun Music” (see Darren Aronofsky’s The Wrestler for further explanation.) They came on the scene and suddenly everything needs to be gritty, real, and/or serious or “IT SUCKS!” (at least in the mind of the audience.) Which doesn’t even make sense since there’s nothing “real” about Tarantino’s films…in a good way, but I digress.
That’s My Boy is a return to form for Sandler, a return to the Sandler of his early comedy albums, his SNL days, the era of Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore. For some this isn’t really a good thing, if you hated Sandler before you aren’t going to magically love him now, ESPECIALLY with him doing a silly accent for 90 minutes, it even took me a few minutes to adjust without cringing. In retrospect though, I like the over the top absurdity of his (Boston?) accent. I’m the guy who loved and still loves Little Nicky after all .
What is the “form” that this is returning to? Basically, R-rated, family-unfriendly humor. It’s Sandler as the goofball dad and Andy Samberg as his estranged son, the straight man who can’t stand the constant free-flowing sex jokes, stupidity and/or slobbery. Sure, it’s an old formula, but a great formula when played right. I submit the following examples:
Even more awesome:
This poster looks familiar, the posing, the spilling beverage, the word “BOY” :
The best comment I have for That’s My Boy is that it isn’t our worst fear, it isn’t JACK AND JILL 2: JACK AND JILL AND JED (I’m just guessing.) This is the Sandler that we fell in love with in the 1990s. Now that he’s back on track, and the fact that this film is essentially a non-violent Uncle Donnie movie (his name is even Donnie,) I hope and pray that he will finally make my dreams come true and make Toll Booth Willie: The Movie.
I’m Bob Rose and thanks for your eyeball time!
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