That’s My Boy: Offensively Not Funny

By Michelle McGlynn

As I take my seat in the cinema I cannot help but notice the feeling of impending doom that has settled in. My coffee is not going down easily. An unusual feeling to have when going to the cinema you may think. But I am not surprised. This is a natural reaction when you make the choice to sit through one of Adam Sandler’s latest films. As the lights dim, my eyes drift towards the emergency exit sign and I think to myself that I could just get up and save myself the ordeal. This was not the only time that I pondered this possibility over the two hours that followed. But I stayed. I stayed for you. We here at Film Jam are willing to take the hit and sit through atrocities such as this so you don’t have to. So I beg of you, please heed my warnings. Do not let my suffering be in vain.

Adam Sandler & Andy Samberg in That's My Boy

Adam Sandler & Andy Samberg in That’s My Boy

It’s 1984 and fourteen year old seducer Donny Berger (Adam Sandler) is sleeping with his maths teacher Ms. McGarricle (Eva Amurri Martino). Their relationship is discovered resulting in McGarricle being imprisoned for thirty years. While Donny becomes a hero to men all over America and becomes an 80’s cultural icon. To further complicate the matter, McGarricle is pregnant with Donny’s child. Donny raises the child, who he names Hans Solo. I know, hysterical, right? But when Donny’s son turns eighteen, he changes his name, tries to create a better life for himself and cuts all ties with Donny. Now named Todd Peterson (Andy Samberg), Donny’s estranged son is a sucessful hedge fund manager and is engaged to a beautiful woman, Jaime (Leighton Meester). Life seems perfect and so this is Donny’s cue to re-enter his son’s life and turn it upside-down. This is when hilarity should ensue as Donny returns on the weekend of Todd and Jaime’s wedding. Todd desperately tries to cling on to the life and identity he created for himself. But it appears that humour took the emergency exit, much like I should have.

To be honest, the plot is largely irrelevant. The film is just one rehashed joke after another. A vulgar old lady, an overweight stripper, an Irish priest with anger issues, numerous jokes about bodily fluids. To call this film juvenile is an insult to children the world over who would not so much as raise a smile at the pitiful jokes found in this film. The cinema remained silent throughout, there wasn’t a giggle to be heard. The film tries too hard to be considered offensive with jokes about topics such as incest and statutory rape. The only thing offensive about this film is that it classes itself as a comedy.

Adam Sandler is obnoxious as ever, adopting a grating Boston accent and donning a wig that looks like it was pulled out of a drain. His overuse of the words “guy” and “wicked” ensure that if anyone ever says them to you they will most certainly receive a punch in the face. To comment on his performance would be to pay far more attention to it than Sandler did.

If, like me, you expected Andy Samberg to provide some form of relief in this hellish ordeal, you will be disappointed. Samberg’s presence merely makes you sad. Sad to your very soul that someone who has so much potential would allow themselves to be tainted by this deplorable film.

Leighton Meester is bland in her role as Todd’s fiancée. She plays an unpleasant girl who is nothing but rude to Todd and shows him no respect. Meester delivers the absolute minimum that her depthless character requires.

To give you an idea of just how shameful it is to be associated with this film, even Vanilla Ice and Ian Ziering should currently be hiding in the corner of a dark, dank pub drinking until they can forget ever appearing in That’s My Boy. These adults have made their choices and must live with the consequences. But the fact that Sandler puts his own children in films such as this revolting piece of cinema must be breaking some sort of Child Protection Act.

That’s My Boy is not as bad as Sandler’s previous offering, Jack and Jill,  but it is not too far off. One would think that inflicting one loathsome film on the world in a calendar year would be enough. But not for Sandler. This fact leads me to believe that Sandler has some kind of overwhelming contempt for the human race and he will not rest until we cannot bear to look at another cinema screen again.

If you are incredibly bored some day and you think to yourself “Hey, maybe I’ll check out Adam Sandler’s new film. Maybe it won’t be that bad.” I would like to provide you with some suggestions to help to relieve your boredom in a more enjoyable manner. Hammer 1,387 rusty nails into various parts of your body. Pluck out your eyelashes one by one and then pour a bottle of vinegar into each eye. Lay on the ground and let 60 horses trample you. Go out on Junior Cert night to where all the trendy kids are going. Watch Glitter, Gigli, Hannah Montana: The Movie and the entire Twilight Saga. Let someone use your face as a toilet, as is suggested in the film, and do not move for two hours.

Or you could just heed my warnings. Remember: Film Jam – We suffer so you don’t have to.

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