My Top 5 Adam Sandler Movies
#5 Happy Gilmore: I felt like it was a shoe-in that either Happy Gilmore, or Billy Madison, two films with which Sandler first found something resembling success (both were modest box office successes) would make this list. I also felt however, that because they are so often viewed together (due to a similarity in tone and character I'd suppose) that only one of them should really be on the list. If I have to pick one, it's definitely Happy Gilmore for me, a movie about a guy, whose name is in fact, Happy Gilmore. He wants to play Hockey really bad, but he sucks too bad and gets into too many fights (even at tryouts) to even get into the minors. Too bad for him, but then he finds out that his grandmother's house is going to be bought out by the bank, unless he can raise the money in back taxes to pay for it. He finds that he can do this by playing pro golf, because while he might be a shit hockey player, his ability to slap shot translates into him having an incredible driving range on the golf course. Of course everything else about his game is rough, so he's helped by former golf legend Chubbs (Carl Weathers, maybe you remember him being savagely killed in Predator?) who had his hand bit off by an alligator while golfing in the Everglades. This movie is good because it's not ashamed to be exactly as simplistic and vulgar as it seems. Happy is a crude, but well meaning dumb-ass who plays golf to save his grandma's house and get the girl. No need to add anything else there. Notable cameos include Richard Kiel, who you probably better know as Jaws from the Bond film Moonraker. Turns out he doesn't need metal teeth, he's scary anyways. Watch Happy Gilmore not because it's smart, but because it is dumb.
#4 Bulletproof: In 1996, Damon Wayans was pretty much at the top of his game. I'm not sure that I mean that he was having a lot of success in the box office (I really don't mean that) but most all the movies he made that I really liked came out right in the middle of the 90s. Things got better then, when he teamed up with Adam Sandler to make Bulletproof, a movie about John/Rock(Wayans) an undercover cop who befriends petty criminal/screw-up Archie Moses (Sandler) to try and infiltrate drug kingpin Colton(played by James Caan)'s network. During a sting, John takes one to the dome when Archie's gun accidentally goes off during a standoff.(he gets hit by a crane). When John wakes up with a metal plate in his head, his first job is to escort a key witness to the station to help bring down Colton. Unfortunately that witness is Archie Moses, and John is not too enthusiastic. The two endure constant attempts on their lives, and each other's company, as they attempt to get back to John's precinct back in LA. This movie contains some of my very favorite Adam Sandler moments, including his stirring performance of "I Will Always Love You" in the shower. Really powerful stuff. Unlike nearly every Damon Wayans movie ever, Bulletproof opened at #1, and actually did decently for its budget and era (a modest 22 million). Good job team! If you watch this movie and don't find it funny, I will have no other choice but to assume you are a robot sent back from the future to assassinate fun.
#3 Big Daddy: This film, released in 1999, marked the first entry in a dangerous trend of "rough around the edges good guy to the EXTREME" movies that Adam Sandler fell into. This movie however, was actually entertaining, unlike those other films (Click for instance, or Mr. Deeds god help us). Big Daddy is the story of Sonny Koufax (Sandler) a law school dropout whose life is going nowhere, until he gets stuck with Julian (Cole and Dylan Sprouse, you might know them from the Suite Life of Zach and Cody, if you are an 11 year old girl) the bastard son of Sonny's roommate Kevin (Jon Stewart). Sonny ends up taking care of the kid (in a highly illegal fashion). Along the way he learns to stop being such a loser, and maybe act like a grown up a little bit. Along the way, there are lots of injured rollerbladers, boob jokes, and other really immature jokes. While only about half of critics actually liked this movie, movie-going audiences were considerably more pleased. Big Daddy grossed over 234 million in the box office. That is suffice to say, a whole lot of money.
#2 Funny People: After making a string of movies that I had absolutely no use for, Funny People came out. I have a kind of... awkward relationship with Judd Apatow movies and productions, because while they are often witty, they are unfortunately also often too long. Judd Apatow seems like he just can't resist indulging himself when he makes movies (or tv shows I'm looking at you Undeclared). Funny People is a movie about a famous comedian named George Simmons (Sandler) who is diagnosed with a cancer death sentence. He asks aspiring comedian Ira (Seth Rogen) to write jokes for him, because frankly he's not a very good comedian anymore. Ira's life becomes entangled in George's, including his rekindled relationship with his married ex-fiance Laura (Leslie Mann, who was also in Big Daddy actually), rekindled entirely because he is dying (supposedly). Funny people is good because it isn't trying to play nice, and because it is self-effacing (George Simmons is very much like Sandler himself, a comedian who became a star and started making stupid movies with 'wacky' premises). This film is markedly less dumb than the others I've listed so far too, so that could also be a positive.
#1 The Wedding Singer Ah yes, the anticipated number 1! By far my favorite Adam Sandler movie, The Wedding Singer features Adam Sandler as Robbie Hart a wedding singer who experiences a jarring life change when he is stood up at his wedding. Around this time he befriends Julia (Drew Barrymore) who is engaged to flaming asshole Glen Gulia. Robbie falls for Julia, and also it is the 80s, and there is lots of 80s music. Now I will confess, I have a great love for 80s pop music. If you don't share my love, you might not appreciate the setting and the music of this movie as much as I did. All the more loss to you I say, but I understand, and will try to forgive you. Supporting cast in this film include Christine Taylor (who is married to Ben Stiller ew) Allen Covert (who is also in virtually every movie on this list) and Billy Idol. No really, Billy Idol is in this movie, towards the end. Now don't you want to watch?
That's it! Join me on Tuesday, when I talk about Breaking Dawn Part II, and we celebrate the end of the Twilight Saga. Yay it's over!