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Movie review: Sandler as sociopath in 'That's My Boy'

Published June 14, 2012 3:01 pm
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Adam Sandler likes to say he doesn't make movies for critics. But his most recent films, capped by the criminally awful "That's My Boy," indicate that he's making them only for his inflated ego.

Sandler plays Donny Berger, a beer-swilling lout whose 15 minutes of fame came at age 13, when he impregnated his hot teacher (Eva Amurri Martino). Now, in his 40s, Donny faces a prison term unless he can cough up $43,000 to the IRS in a weekend. His one chance to raise the cash is to bring his estranged son Todd (Andy Samberg) to a prison reunion with his mom for a scuzzy TV talk show. So Donny heads to Cape Cod to find the now-neurotic Todd, on the weekend he's to marry the high-strung Jamie (Leighton Meester).

This setup allows the boorish Donny to mix with stuck-up rich folks, who are inexplicably charmed by his profanity-spewing charisma.

Aside from some sideline laughs from "Saturday Night Live" alums Will Forte and Rachel Dratch, Sandler seems to have deliberately set things up so all attention is on him — both by saddling the usually funny Samberg with a whiny, unlikable character and by casting nonactors (including rapper Vanilla Ice, New York Jets coach Rex Ryan and sportscaster Dan Patrick) who make Sandler look like Olivier in comparison.

Director Sean Anders, who showed promise with the horny-teen romp "Sex Drive," seems powerless to stop Sandler indulging in creating this creepy sociopath and trying to pass him off as sympathetic.

movies@sltrib.com; nowsaltlake.com/movies —

zero stars

'That's My Boy'

Opens Friday, June 15, at theaters everywhere; rated R for crude sexual content throughout, nudity, pervasive language and some drug use; 114 minutes. For more movie reviews, visit nowsaltlake.com/movies.






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