BIG DADDY (1999) 

Adam Sandler
Joey Lauren Adams
Jon Stewart
Cole & Dylan Sprouse
Leslie Mann
Rob Schneider
Kristy Swanson
Joseph Bologna
Steve Buscemi

Dennis Dugan



Time: 93 mins.
Rating: PG-13
Genre: Comedy/Romance

I have to admit up front that though I don't hate Adam Sandler's movies, I don't rush out to the theater to watch them either. Generally, they're all worth a few laughs, just not the full price of admission. BIG DADDY is no exception. It had its' cute, endearing and funny moments, but most of those appeared in the trailer. Believe me, if you've seen the preview you've seen the best parts of this movie. I expected at least half a dozen other funny moments that I had't already seen a million times. Didn't happen. It seems they saved the extremely overused and unfunny "Hooter" jokes for the actual movie. How nice for me. Sandler doesn't really do anything new here, his partner in crime is just a lot closer to his mental age. See if you can tell who the adult is in this relationship. It's not easy. I guess the point of BIG DADDY is to show Sandler's character Sonny, growing up and accepting responsibility. The best he can claim at the end of the day is that the child was still alive. Not a huge step up.

In this version of the Sandler schtick, irresponsible, slacker Sonny tries to adopt his roommate's illegitimate 5-year-old son to prove how responsible he is to his current girlfriend, played by Adams. Hilarity is supposed to ensue. Unfortunately, Sonny quickly discovers that though a cute child may be a chick magnet, they need an extreme amount of care which he is just not ready to give. When his girlfriend turns his "family plan" down for an older man, Sonny knows he should return the boy to Social Services, but he finds he doesn't want to because he really enjoys being a "parent." I'm using that term loosely. Sonny's idea of parenting is letting Julian name himself, wear whatever he wants, showing him how to pee on the street (a "joke" they use way too many times), and encouraging him to trip rollerbladers with sticks. All incredibly funny, don't you think? When social services discovers Sonny's not really Julian's father, Julian is taken away. Sonny then gets to redeem himself in a court of law, which not only shows his newfound maturity (?), but re-sparks his interest in becoming a lawyer. See how that all ties together?

"Having a kid is great... as long as his eyes are closed and he's not moving or talking."

The only thing that keeps this movie afloat is the relationship between Sonny and Julian, played by Cole and Dylan Sprouse. They really do have a great rapport with Sandler, but again that's because their characters are operating on pretty much the same level. The love story between Sandler and Joey Lauren Adams is cute, but doesn't really get much deeper than that. This is a buddy movie and chicks are only around so the men can live happily ever after. Leslie Mann and Kristy Swanson were hired merely to be the butt of breast jokes. Joey Lauren Adams tries to be smart and funny and she is in this world, but that's not saying much. I'm still waiting for Mr. Sandler to stretch his comic muscles and do a film that doesn't rely on body function humor or cheap breast jokes. I'm beginning to think this is an impossible dream. If you like Sandler, you'll enjoy this movie, but not as much as you'd think.

home | reviews | actors | actresses | film heaven | all reviews