'That's My Boy': What the Critics Are Saying

7:56 PM PST 06/15/2012 by THR Staff
Columbia Pictures

THR sums up top critics' (mostly negative) reviews of Adam Sandler and Andy Samberg's new Father's Day comedy.

Keeping with Adam Sandler's recent theatrical track record, That's My Boy isn't exactly being met with open arms by critics.

The father-and-son comedy about an immature young dad wreaking havoc at his adult offspring's wedding, pairs Sandler with fellow Saturday Night Live alum Andy Samberg, Sex Driver director Sean Anders and Happy Endings scribe David Caspe.

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The Hollywood Reporter's Justin Lowe acknowledges that fans of Sandler's brand of comedy should be pleased, but was otherwise unimpressed. "This being an Adam Sandler comedy, crude humor predominates at the expense of inherently unique situations or characters, with a by-now familiar strain of sentimentality emerging in later reels," he writes. "The movie is overburdened with incidents that prove only mildly amusing. Anders’ background as an R-rated comedy writer could have served him better with shepherding the disparate cast and animating the pacing, but instead the outcome is a bloated runtime that nearly tips two hours."

One of several writers to implore the word "peurile," USA Today critic Claudia Puig notes the film's resemblance to other Sandler flicks: "For some reason, Sandler is hellbent on perpetuating and repurposing his annoying brand of moronic, preadolescent schtick. Worse, his lowbrow comedies seem to be sinking ever lower."

FILM REVIEW: 'That's My Boy'

Nathan Rabin at the The A.V. Club says "Sandler has seemingly doubled down on his commitment to pandering to his audience’s crudest instincts, stopping just short of hiring his coterie of writer pals to transform the fake movies his character made in Funny People into genuine Adam Sandler vehicles."

The New York Times' David DeWitt seems to appreciate the second half. "It leads to a big payoff wedding, after all," he writes, "and it has a large ensemble for support, including Leighton Meester, Will Forte, Vanilla Ice (as himself), a funny James Caan, a cameo by Susan Sarandon and plenty of game-for-the-shame adult players like Peggy Stewart, as a politely naughty grandmother."

One of the most responsive critics was Entertainment Weekly's Owen Gleiberman. "I can't say that I laughed a lot (though when I did laugh, it was big and loud)," he writes. "But on some level I marveled at the conviction that Sandler pours into playing a character like Donny Berger, a boneheaded, loud-mouthed alcoholic loser from Boston."

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