Starring Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Leighton Meester, Vanilla Ice, Eva Amurri Martino and Susan Sarandon. Written by David Caspe. Directed by Sean Anders.
By now there's an unspoken expectation (or fear) that comes with seeing anything Adam Sandler attaches his name to. With the exception of a few hopeful and faithful fans, moviegoers have almost unanimously expressed nothing but disappointment in the last few Happy Madison productions (Grown Ups, Jack and Jill), and no doubt expect nothing less for That's My Boy. Achieving the seemingly impossible, this film dips below even these expectations and will without question lose any fanbase Sandler has left.
During his high-school years (in the '80s, of course), Donny (Sandler) and his teacher, Ms. McGarricle (Amurri) partake in a passionate love affair which leads to an unplanned pregnancy, her being sentenced to prison and a great deal of fame and fortune for Donny. Unfortunately, this doesn't necessarily make for the best environment for Donny to raise his son, Todd (Samberg). It isn't until years later, falling on hard times, that Donny reconnects with his estranged son only to discover he is a dreadfully serious and anxiety-ridden pushover who's started a new life, leaving his past far behind. Through his inappropriate, crass behavior, Donny somehow charms his way back into Todd's life (it's never made clear why his lack of hygiene or rude comments are so well-accepted by others in the film), triggering a series of outrageous events that changes their lives forever.
Not only is That's My Boy an extreme case of self-indulgent filmmaking, but it goes so far as to infuriate its audience by dangling Samberg right in front of them, only to have him take a back seat to Sandler and play the straight guy. Throughout the film, you'll question why such a well-liked and talented comedian was wasted on a role this mundane, not to mention why this film can be boiled down to nothing more than an irritating compilation of all of Sandler's cutesy '80s references and terrible past jokes (repeating "wazzup" from the old Budweiser commercials is a running gag throughout). The fact that there isn't the slightest glimpse of genuine humor (which sets it apart from its predecessors) signifies that this trend has been pushed to the limit and ultimately reached its end.