Sandler’s latest picture should prove to be another box-office bonanza, cementing his legacy as one of the most consistently bankable screen comedians of all time. It was 13 years ago that Sandler broke out in his first hit ‘The Wedding Singer‘, in that time he has headlined 11 films that have crossed the $100million dollar mark domestically. A feat that other notable screen giants (Jim Carrey, Eddie Murphy, Ben Stiller) haven’t been able to match. I guess the feeling is, if it ain’t broke…
Going into an Adam Sandler movie there are a few certainties, great 80’s music, an overly sentimental ending that is preordained from the jump and an eternally juvenile lead character. Because Sandler pretty much always plays the same character it’s really a matter of how you feel about the guy. I like him and have always found his movies to be engaging to various degrees, either of the laugh-out-loud variety (Happy Gilmore, Bulletproof) or his mediocre offerings (Mr. Deeds, Anger Management). Suspension of disbelief is a must in these films, how else to explain Aniston and Brooklyn Decker fighting for Sandler’s affection? Add them to a growing list of improbably beautiful actresses assigned to play his wife/love interest, Salma Hayek, Kate Beckinsale and Emmanuelle Chriqui to name just a few.
Reuniting with ‘Grown Up’s‘ director Dennis Dugan, and working from a script credited to I.A.L. Diamond, (frequent Billy Wilder collaborator and writer of perhaps the most famous romantic comedy ‘Some Like It Hot‘), Sandler is able to give his core-fan base the gross out comedy they expect but also enough romanticism to entertain the date crowd on this Valentine’s day weekend. The picture succeeds more than it misses, and an awful lot of goodwill is built up between the leads making for an enjoyably diverting two hours. Nick Swardson has a few nice moments in a showy role as the man posing to be Aniston’s new love interest. However Nicole Kidman is wasted in an extended cameo as the high school nemesis of Aniston’s character. Her scenes are flat and unfunny, miles away from the brilliant comedic work she did in 1995’s darkly satirical ‘To Die For‘.
Director: Dennis Dugan
Stars: Adam Sandler, Jennifer Aniston, Brooklyn Decker
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