Sandler finally tops The Hangover’ - in grossness
By Roger Moore McClatchy-Tribune – Friday, June 15, 2012
That’s My Boy
? (out of five stars)
Director: Sean Anders
Cast: Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Leighton Meester, Vanilla Ice, James Caan
Rated: R for crude sexual content throughout, nudity, pervasive language and some drug use
Running time: 1 hour, 51 minutes
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Vanilla Ice is back, back baby.
And for that crime alone, Adam Sandler should get the chair.
Alas, it’s a minor offense in “That’s My Boy,” a no-holds-barred raunch-fest that combines bits of “Saturday Night Live” skits and “The Hangover” with every ugly Sandler laugher ever made.
When your comedy starts with a criminally “inappropriate” sexual relationship between a 13 year-old boy and his bombshell teacher, the scariest thought is “Yeah, they’re going to have to top that.” Which they then proceed to do.
Sandler has made worse movies, but never one as grotesque as this.
He stars as Donny Berger, who became famous in the ‘80s for his illegal fling with Miss McGarricle (Eva Amurri Martino). Donny made a lot of money being the kid who lived the “Hot for Teacher” fantasy; the envy of his (male) peers. Thirty years later, all he has to show for the glory days are a dated TV movie about the affair, his old Fiero and a whopping tax bill.
Donny’s one hope: find his son, whom he named Han Solo Berger, and stage a reunion with the kid and the imprisoned mom on a sleazy TV show hosted by a guy played by sportscaster Dan Patrick.
Han Solo changed his name to Todd Peterson and grew up to be a dull hedge-fund manager. Todd’s a pushover, the sort of nerd who makes “beep beep” computer noises when showing off his math skills.
You will not believe how unfunny “Saturday Night Live’s” Andy Samberg can be until you see this guy: a henpecked groom about to marry the shrill Jamie (Leighton Meester).
Tony Orlando plays Todd’s crude boss. James Caan does the worst Irish accent, playing a two-fisted priest who will marry the couple.
And through it all, a much-heavier Sandler waddles and chews on a “Pahk the caah in the chow-duh” Massachusetts accent, reviving the “Wasssuuppppp” catch-phrase. Maybe the best joke is how “good looking” and “sexy” all the women say he is.
The septic tank of a script undercuts its central thesis, that it’s never too late to learn to be a dad.
Fans of lower-than-low comedy may choke on their popcorn over every staggering vulgarity. But sentient beings will find a laugh, here and there, as well. The first reunion-with-Vanilla Ice moment, he and Donny were buds back in the day, is awkward, accusatory and hilarious.
But mostly, “That’s My Boy” is a groaner. Yet it’s more appropriate for Father’s Day than you’d think. It’s your aging dad, stuck in the past, swearing and carrying on like he’s just heard about those other guys stealing Mike Tyson’s tiger, assuring you he can top it. As if anybody really wants to see that.