The new Adam Sandler/Andy Samberg comedy is getting quite a backlash. Salon even went so far as to suggest the movie is Adam Sandler’s means of punishing us for passing on his serious films and that he hates himself (unlikely). Conspiracy theories and inevitable bad reviews aside, “That’s My Boy” is a worthwhile flick for a blazing hot afternoon.
In other words, I decided to see it Saturday to escape the sweltering heat. I love sunshine and warmth more than anyone I know, but given my lack of air conditioning coupled with
my hangover the 85 degree weather, the UV rays were a little much for me. Upon taking the first ice cold shower of my life, covering my windows with dark blankets, and hydrating, I surrendered and hit the cool theater. I adore Andy Samberg and Adam Sandler, so their collaborative work seemed like a decent pick for the rest of the afternoon.
The “That’s My Boy” plot is taboo from the start and, believe it or not, only gets more disgusting. The opening scene takes place in 1984 and zooms in on 13-year-old Donny Berger, who jokingly hits on his gorgeous ginger teacher in front of his friends. He receives detention, which turns into a sex session with his pervy female instructor. They continue sleeping together until school administrators find out and she goes to jail pregnant. She ends up behind bars and Donny becomes a legend. His face splashes across the covers of magazines, he becomes BFFs with Vanilla Ice, and he basically becomes a Kardashian of the 80s.
Fast forward to present day and his fame and fortune are long gone. “Grown-up” Donny (Adam Sandler) needs to scrounge up 40 grand in a week to avoid going to prison, so he tracks down his son Han Solo (Andy Samberg) so the two can appear in a reality segment, from which he can profit. As to be expected, Han Solo changed his name to Todd to be free of his dad, who was the worst parent imaginable, and pursued a high-paying career in hedge funds. Donny finds Todd the week before his wedding to Jamie (Leighton Meester) to try to reconnect. They do a lot of fighting at first, as Todd feels he was cheated of a good childhood, but once it’s clear all of Todd’s future in-laws and friends like Donny, things improve between the two.
There’s more than one really inappropriate relationship in the movie, and I really don’t understand why the second situation had to happen at all, but you have to take the movie as a whole for what it is and accept that Adam Sandler is just really good at stupid projects. Throughout the comedy, I had the impression that Andy Samberg was embarrassed, so I don’t think he’ll take the Adam Sandler path, which really isn’t that bad if you think about it. The film has lots of excellent actors in spite of its dreadful story line, and I want to give the creators some credit for rounding up the talented Susan Sarandon, James Caan, Will Forte, Leighton Meester, Rachel Dratch, and Blake Clark, among others. Have a little faith in their decision to perform in the movie, guys.