Reel Reviews | That’s My Boy

by Tim Gordon

Once amusing funnyman Adam Sandler continues his descent down to the depths of comedic hell with this early Razzie nominee, That’s My Boy.

The film focuses on a cocky middle-school student, Donny Berger (Adam Sandler) who fulfills the fantasy of young boys everywhere by having an illicit affair with his Mary Jane Letourneau-esque teacher, Ms. McGarricle (Eva Amurri). Once they are “exposed,” the pregnant teacher is sent away for a lengthy sentence and her unborn child is entrusted to the care of her middle school love. 30 years later with his fame long gone, Donnie spends his time living in the past and hanging at the neighborhood strip club filled with fuglies and disabled pole dancers. With no marketable skills to fall back on, Donnie must pay his back taxes or be sent to jail when he is offered a lifeline – stage a reunion with an estranged son, Han Solo (Andy Samberg) and his incarcerated cougar love.

Meanwhile, Solo has changed his name to Todd and has become a successful financial analyst largely on the strength of an almost machine-like mathematical ability. The uptight Todd is engaged to a greedy gold-digger, Christina (Leighton Meester) who has hidden motives and an icy disposition that she far more interested in controlling him than loving him.

Sporting a thick Bastan accent, a hefty bag wardrobe and always with a brew in hand, Donnie’s houseguests revel in his sordid tales which only makes his son/best friend, Todd seem even more like a loser. While Donnie’s initial motives were spotty, he discovers his nurturing side and his son’s fiancé’s dirty little secret.

Much like Eddie Murphy, Sandler and his crew continue to make movies that are funny to them but not to anyone else. Sandler is an equal opportunity offender with tasteless jokes ranging from potty humor to insensitive racist jabs at Asian-Americans. In Sandler’s anti-Father’s Day film, the loser is cool, the sensible guy is a dork, back tattoos, masturbating to seniors, fist-fighting priests and halo-head are all sources of humor. Despite some funny moments toward the end, courtesy of Vanilla Ice and Todd Bridges of all people, the best line in the film is when African clergyman utters what many in the audience were thinking watching this debacle – White People!!!!

Grade: D