'That's My Boy' Review: Sandler Sinks to New Lows in Rude, Crude Comedy

Hundreds of movies arrive in theaters every year and, in that group, there are inevitably ones that seek greatness but end up settling for mediocrity.

A film’s quality can be as fragile as the camera it was filmed with, and one minor flaw can otherwise ruin a pleasant film-going experience.

“That’s My Boy” is not one of those films where a single mistake undermines its premise. Its entire being is a mistake. This crude comedy is an early contender for the worst movie of 2012.


Many Adam Sandler movies opt for the lowest common denominator and “Boy” is no stranger to that concept. But "Boy" sinks even lower than most of Sandler’s work.

The plot—if one can call 114 minutes about a man-child conceived between a boy and his teacher a plot--- is merely the setup for a series of off-putting jokes. The movie begins with Donny (Sandler) as a young student in elementary school who begins a lurid affair with one of his teachers. That affair ends with her in prison for three decades and Donny being forced to help rear their unlucky child.

Years later, Donny is a washed-up former celebrity whose claim to fame was bedding his teacher, an act the film explains made him a household name for decades. Decades! This movie has a sense of time like a lost child has a sense of direction.

Lacking skills, intelligence and any semblance of dignity, Donny attempts to find his estranged son (played by willing accomplice Andy Samberg) so that he can find a way to pay off his back taxes.

That’s the general plot. Although a few scenes are worth a laugh, the picture is completely undermined by the plethora of jokes that don’t work and its offensive attempts at humor.

Sure, Sandler can be funny—remember that? -- and Samberg is talented.

But this movie does neither of them any favors. What starts out as an inane comedy descends into a cinematic atrocity. The levels of stupidity in this movie are difficult to comprehend. From tiresome jokes about two men sleeping with an elderly grandmother to gross masturbation gags to an incestuous storyline, seeing this movie is a sickening experience. Bring a barf bag.

Many Sandler movies are critic-proof, so my harsh disdain likely won't impact its box office prospects. It's still shameful to see so many talented people work in such a terrible film.

Supporting actors like Susan Sarandon, James Caan and even someone like Vanilla Ice—who appears in the second half of the picture—deserve better. This movie is a ridiculous mess of talent and trash.

Back when the concept was being developed, this movie really should have been put on ice, ice, baby.


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