Review: ‘That’s My Boy’ is (cautiously) enjoyableWritten by James A. Molnar | The Gold Knight | firstname.lastname@example.org
Adam Sandler never grew up. And he’s living the dream. In his latest film, he gets paid to be raunchy, have fun and play a character that walks around drinking beer all day.
He uses the human body for jokes: farts, penises and breasts. All are on the table, literally and figuratively. And the f-word is sprinkled in there very often, like salt on fries. They all seem to go together.Once you get past all the crudeness, “That’s My Boy” is fun to watch. Keep in mind Sandler’s latest film is rated R and the maturity level is kept to that of pubescent boys.
There are enough surprises though in the film to keep the audience laughing, especially with scenes in a strip club named Bacon & Leggs. Lead dancer Champale (Luenell) is an absolute scene-stealer.
“That’s My Boy” starts in 1984. Sandler plays Donny Berger in a story reminiscent of the Mary Kay Letourneau case. He is seduced by his math teacher, Mary Beth McGarricle (Eva Amurri Martino). When students and teachers discover this “ultimate teenage fantasy,” McGarricle is fired and sent to prison for 30 years — and is also pregnant.Flash-forward to present day and Berger has raised the kid himself, named Han Solo Berger (Andy Samberg). His claim to fame is his infamy — like a present-day reality star stuck in the past. After turning 18, Han Solo changed his name and tried to move past his scarring childhood, not seeing his father for years. Now, he is getting married and his father shows up and attempts to rekindle their relationship.
Sandler has a knack for wearing his heart on his sleeve when he makes movies. Yes, they can be crude and juvenile, but there is some emotional attachment by the end of the movie. The audience is invested in the characters. And when the film ends, viewers leave entertained.
While his acting is another story, Sandler has comic timing down to the t. The surprise is what gives the movie its zing. While Sandler’s Bostonian accent and character are grating at times, the other characters including his best friend in the movie, Vanilla Ice, provide the support to lessen the annoyance.
Be advised and don’t set expectations too high for “That’s My Boy.” It can be surprisingly fun and irreverent, but this is not “The Hangover.” Adam Sandler is back to his groove after a massively panned “Jack & Jill” and audiences will laugh. Who knew you could laugh so hard during scenes in a strip club?
What the movie lacks in class, it makes up with heart. Sandler and Samberg work well together in a movie set for Father’s Day weekend. Although, you might want to leave your dad at home.
Rated R for crude sexual content throughout, nudity, pervasive language and some drug use.
Toledo Free Press Lead Designer and Film Editor James A. Molnar blogs about all things Oscar at TheGoldKnight.com.
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