That’s My Boy

Adam Sandler –  he usually either makes a good comedy movie or one that people hate. This one, for me, falls somewhere in the middle. While it’s nowhere as good as his better ones, I didn’t find it to be as bad as most critics have labelled (it is nominated for eight Golden Raspberry Awards) and I even laughed out loud at some of the crude comedy. Sandler co-produced this movie that also stars Adam Samberg, Leighton Meester, Milo Ventimiglia, James Caan, Vanilla Ice (as himself) and a cameo by Suran Sarandon!

In 1984, 13 year old Donny Berger has an affair with his 22 year old teacher Mary McGarricle and they are caught having sex behind the stage and she is arrested and sentenced to go to prison for 30 years post delivering a baby boy. Inept father Donny semi-raises his son, who he names Han Solo Berger, has a few years of celebrity & noteriety and ends up being estranged from his son who moves out at the age of 18, changes his name to Todd Peterson and has no contact with his father. So present day 42 year old Donny is a washed up slacker, almost broke and perpetually drinking beer, spending most his time at a local strip club with his friends, bartender Brie and stripper Champale. And he finds himself owning the IRS 43,000 dollars in back taxes and needs to pay it back within a week.  A reality tv producer who had produced shows for Donny during his brief period of celebrity, and Morgan offers him $50,000 if he can organize a reunion with Han and Ms. McGarricle at the women’s prison. Donny also places a bet on a morbidly obese athlete Tubby Tuke to win an upcoming marathon.

Donny goes to meet his son who is staying at the huge mansion owned by his boss Stev, which is also where the wedding is to take place. Donny is introduced as an old friend and hits it off with members of the wedding party, including Steve’s old mother. Donny’s popularity makes Todd’s best man step aside and have him fulfill the role of best man.  Donny tries to convince Todd to come to the women’s prison to see Ms. McGarricle (not revealing that it is for Morgan’s television show), but he refuses. Although Todd fights with Donny over all the immature stuff while he was  growing up, the father’s influence is showing on Todd. Donny tries to be fatherly by encouraging him to stand up for himself; so much so that Todd picks a fight with the priest who is to officiate the wedding, Father McNally (James Caan), and Donny comes to his rescue. After a wild bachelor party, father & son bond along with “uncle Vanny” (Vanilla Ice as himself) but ends the night puking & having sex with the mannequin wearing Jamie’s wedding dress. Donny & Vanilla Ice both have sex with Steve mother! The following day, Jamie forces Todd to take the dress to the dry cleaner and he decides to visit his mother anyway. Donny rushes to prison to stop the meeting, but arrives too late; Randall ambushes Todd, Donny, and Ms. McGarricle with a film crew and an enraged Todd leaves. He refuses to sign a release form for the television appearance, leaving Donny with no money from the stunt.

While back at the mansion to get his belongings, Donny overhears Jamie on a phone call, indicating that she is cheating on Todd with Steve. Although he is unable to prove it, Donny later finds her having sex with her brother Chad, a jazz dancer who is pretending to be a US Marine and takes a photo of them. Jamie then admits that she actually did have sex with Steve to “help” Todd get further in his career. She gives Donny the money he needs in exchange for his silence because she knows how this would affect Todd if he found out the truth. Donny changes his mind on the day of the wedding and he & Vanilla Ice interrupt the wedding. Donny tears up Jamie’s check and urges her to whisper the truth to Todd. Now knowing that she had sex with Chad, he is disgusted and becomes more self-assured in revealing his real identity to the shocked attendants, even accepting Donny as his father and taking his name Han Solo Berger back. He tells Steve that he quits and the trio leaves the wedding after both Jamie & Chad are knocked out for trying to attack Donny & Han. The following day at the strip club, Han reveals that he is dating Brie. He offers Donny the money to help pay for the unpaid taxes, but he refuses stating that it’s time for him to grow up and accept responsibility. Donny is preparing to go to prison, intending to rekindle his relationship with Ms. McGarricle when both are released in 2015 – when suddenly on television, they see Tubby Tuke complete an unlikely come-from-behind victory in his marathon, winning Donny $160,000 from his earlier wager, more than enough to keep him out of prison.

With a lot of swearing, dirty jokes, obscene gestures, talk of sex, masturbation etc – it really is a Sandler vehicle. I found parts of it funny but I totally understand why people hated it. I can’t get over the stupid plot and the overused cliched bits. Plus Adam Sandler uses a stupid voice for this role. 6 outta 10!

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