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IN SHORT: Cranky ain't 14 and the return of Sandler's nasty fratboy humor isn't funny. Much.
Sorry folks, hurting people ain't funny -- unless you're a drunken fratboy, teen or otherwise semi-human who has yet to develop any sense of responsibility. That, pretty much, describes the slacker character played by Adam Sandler in Big Daddy, a return to form of his days starring in films like Happy Gilmore. . .
That film, which rated a big fat zero on Cranky's scale, inspired one of Sandler's fans to inform me that I was "a stupid asshole, and it would give me great pleasure to watch someone drive a butcher's knife into your eyes." If Sandler ever makes a slice 'n' dice comedy, said reader will be a very happy camper. If you, too, find the thought of an eyeless Cranky funny, some filmmakers are probably praying for the day, Big Daddy is the movie for you. Like Happy Gilmore, Big Daddy is manipulative, mean spirited, occasionally funny, mean spirited, sexist and scatological humor, not to mentioned mean spirited. On the other hand, it features the one creature on Earth that can yell louder and piss longer than Adam Sandler. A five year old boy.
Very briefly: Sonny Koufax (Sandler) is a lazy 32 year old who never bothered to finish law school like the rest of his friends. Fearing the loss of a fine piece of girlfriend, Sonny "adopts" the kidlet (Cole and Dylan Sprouse) left at his doorstep, a love child belonging to his roommate Kevin (Jon Stewart), now in China doing legal stuff prior to his wedding to ex-Hooters waitress Corinne (Leslie Mann). Using the kid as date bait, Sonny inadvertently ends up romancing Layla (Joey Lauren Adams), sister of Corinne. When not exploiting the dew eyed, always on the verge of tears kidlet, he is teaching the boy the important things in life: appreciation of the music of Styx, how to hock a loogey, how to hurt rollerbladers and where to put the newspaper when bodily functions, um, happen unexpectedly.
Okay, that last bit actually leads to a bit of funny stuff. As for everything else, Cranky has heard of Hooters (the restaurant) but, other than the name, fails to see anything funny about working there. I don't find the name particularly funny either. If you want to call a babe stupid that's one thing, and that's not necessarily funny either (unless everybody is a moron, vis a vis a Farrelly brothers flick). If the sole use of the word "hooters" is part of that smarmy derogatory humor aimed at that joint, t'ain't funny McGee.
Lessee, what else isn't funny about Big Daddy? Little that isn't given away in the trailer or commercial. I think it all comes down to the fact that Cranky really dislikes this character type that Sandler falls back on. The Waterboy was funnier, perhaps because it's okay to whack people in the game of football, and The Wedding Singer was much more pleasant 'cuz it was more adult. Rob Schneider, as the illiterate immigrant friend, is tolerable in small SNL length scenes. Steve Buscemi is much funnier as the homeless person Sonny befriends -- we could get in a big discussion as to why homelessness is funnier than being an illiterate (yet big hearted) immigrant -- let's not and say we did. That Buscemi can make such a character appealing is testament to his talents.
Cranky can't reset his brain folks. I am as old as I am. Most everything in Big Daddy is fit only for fourteen year olds.
On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Eight Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Big Daddy, he would have paid...
Midweek rental level. It would be hypocritical to give it a zero like Happy Gilmore, because there are half a dozen or so laughs in Big Daddy not seen in the trailer or teevee commercial. And Cranky likes Styx. Sue me.
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