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June 20th, 2018

Defending Adam Sandler and his Comedies

About a month ago I was searching my OnDemand and came across Just Go With It. It was late and I couldn’t sleep so I chose it – it was free so what did I have to lose? I didn’t see this movie in theaters for the same reasons you didn’t see it in theaters, it was another Adam Sandler comedy that just seemed ridiculous.

Well I’m here to defend this movie and the plethera of other Adam Sandler comedies we simply wrote off when they came out. It’s weird, but Just Go With It made me laugh out loud more than a couple of times, and I really enjoyed it. I’m not racing to the store to buy it or anything, but I have recommended it to friends.

I don’t really know what happened over time to make our natural reaction to an Adam Sandler comedy trailer be a groan or eye-roll, but it’s strange considering to my generation this man used to be our favorite source for comedy. In fact, Jim Carey was the only funnier guy we’d go to the movies to see. Sandler brought us Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore, Big Daddy, The Waterboy, The Wedding Singer, Mr. Deeds, 50 First Dates… We love those movies.

If you’ve never yelled “You’re gonna die clown!” or “You can do it!” with your friends, attempted a running golf swing, or tried to play “I Want to Grow Old With You” on the guitar for your girlfriend, then you my friend are a liar. So, what happened?

I don’t know what happened and I don’t really care, I’m done writing off his movies. I won’t lie to you, when I saw the trailer for Jack and Jill I thought it was one of those fake movie trailers you’d see in movies like Tropic Thunder, but I’m not going to write it off and I’ll see it eventually either on OnDemand or Netflix. And you know what? I’ll probably laugh.

Remember, this is the guy we watched on Saturday Night Live sing “The Hanukkah Song” and play Operaman. He’s ingrained in our minds as some of our favorite SNL characters. His movies are still things we quote today. Whenever he’s on a talk show like Jimmy Fallon or Letterman he is always funny.

Yes, it does bother me a little that his movies lately have seemed lazy and phoned in, but if it makes me laugh I don’t really mind. I’m not voting for his movies to win an Oscar award, but if I can sit down on a Sunday night with some friends and laugh at one of his movies I don’t see a problem. And know that I don’t give any credit to the script for making me laugh in his later releases, usually they can be pretty lazy, it’s Sandler I give credit to.

Chuck and Larry made me laugh, Bedtime Stories was an enjoyable kids movie that also made me laugh, and I’ll defend Grown Ups to anyone as one of my favorite movies of 2010. It was a 90’s SNL reunion and I loved it. The back-and-forth between Sandler, Rock, Spade and Schneider was like watching four friends you haven’t seen together in well over a decade gel as if no time had passed at all. You get the feeling that if Farley was still alive he’d be in there as well. The movie packed laughs and had a good message as well.

Another thing to remember is that he’s more than just a comedic performer. Who walked into Click expecting a typical Adam Sandler comedy and came out fighting back tears? This guy. Have you seen Reign Over Me? Holy crap. He should have been nominated for an Academy Award for his role in that movie, he was fantastic. Everyone enjoyed The Longest Yard and Punch Drunk Love was a dramatic departure for Sandler.

He’s still that same guy we grew up watching and that’s even more funny because he’s twice as old now. He’s still that guy you watch on TV and think “I’d love to hang out with that guy.” Ultimately, it’s refreshing to see a guy you grew up laughing at keep that same immature humor all these years later, it shows that he hasn’t been eaten by the Hollywood monster. He makes the kind of immature movies that he wants to make, and I appreciate that.

So when it comes down to it, stop writing off every new Adam Sandler comedy as a joke. Don’t do that to yourself because you’ll probably miss out on some old-school laughs you wouldn’t have gotten anywhere else. I guarantee that if you watch whatever his comedy is at that time, while it may not live up to his classics from the 90’s, you’ll laugh more than you thought you would.


  1. Basquat

    You can defend His movies all you like, doesn´t make you right.  All it does is put you last in line to become a moviecritic. Infact i think maybe you need a vacation, before your boss forces one upon you

    • Ray

      Thanks for your criticism. Coming from such a strong source I’ll be sure to reevaluate what I do. And I’m sorry that this article upset you. If you had actually read the article though I don’t think you would have been so upset and your comment would make more sense. All the best.

  2. TimmyT

    I agree with this.  Critics absolutely don’t know comedies, the sad thing is that it’s starting to rub off on people that aren’t critics.  Adam Sandler movies are always funny and I know it’s just ‘us’ that are changing.  Went to Jack and Jill with the kids and they LOVED it.  Reminded myself of Happy Gilmore or Tommy Boy from when I was young.  Unfortunately it became “cool” to diss him some time ago, yet people praise garbage like Bridesmaids. 

    • Ray

      Thanks Tim. There’s no doubt his early stuff is classic for our generation. I mean, I still say “The price is wrong, bitch.” It’s great. To be fair to everyone writing his movies off though, I understand where they’re coming from. It does seem like he has mailed it in and his movies of late do seem lazy, but if he gets you to laugh at them by being his old Adam Sandler self who cares, right?

  3. Sir_Guestman

    I’m still wary of Jack and Jill, myself…it looks like one of those movies his character in Funny People (which I enjoyed him in) would be in. I agree with just about everything else you said, though. I caught Grown Ups OnDemand partway through, and figured “What the hell…can’t be all bad”. I wound up almost falling off the couch laughing a few times. And, I thought I would hate Go With It…wrong again. Wasn’t as good, but still a Sandler classic. All in all, I agree…I don’t know when it became cool to hate on him, and I don’t know why I hopped on that bandwagon. But, I am certainly hopping back off.

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