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Overall Rating

Awesome: 19.62%
Worth A Look34.81%
Average: 27.85%
Pretty Bad: 8.23%
Total Crap: 9.49%

9 reviews, 104 user ratings

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Big Daddy
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by Rob Gonsalves

"Another genial Sandler opus."
3 stars

By now, you either think Adam Sandler is a likable schlub or you hate his guts. If you are in the latter camp, nothing I can say will convince you that 'Big Daddy' is anything more than Adam doing more of the same. If you're in the former group, the only relevant information is that ... Adam does more of the same.

That's enough for a lot of his fans, and it's enough for me; the guy has grown on me, and Big Daddy is yet another pleasantly unambitious Sandler vehicle, as comfortable and sloppy as an old hockey jersey. No one will ever mistake these movies for inspired comedies, but you can relax into them and have a good no-brainer evening.

Problem is, how long can Adam Sandler go on playing the doofus who won't grow up? That's been his M.O. as far back as 1995's Billy Madison, where he was an overgrown kid among schoolchildren. Since then, his movies have followed a sort of dual thematic thread. You have your Adam-the-caveman-jock movies (Happy Gilmore and The Waterboy) and your Adam-tries-to-grow-up movies. The runaway hit The Wedding Singer was a grow-up movie, and Big Daddy is another. It's almost as if the jock movies were for the guys and the grow-up movies were for their girlfriends, who have some hope that the baseball-cap-wearing Sandler fans in their lives will eventually make something of themselves.

Sandler's character this time, Sonny Koufax, is a lackadaisical toll-booth collector living off a court settlement (a taxi cab ran over his foot). His girlfriend (Kristy Swanson) sees he's going nowhere and dumps him, as all Sandler first-act girlfriends must do. When a five-year-old boy, Julian (Cole and Dylan Sprouse), lands in Sonny's lap, he decides to adopt the kid as proof that he's ready to get serious. While he waits for Social Services to find Julian a new home, though, Sonny takes surrogate fatherhood as a cue to forestall adulthood even longer.

The element of Big Daddy that has annoyed some critics (particularly Roger Ebert, who seems to have a knee-jerk hatred of Sandler) is precisely the one that appealed to me. We live in an age where parents are worrying more than ever about how to raise their kids; the result, I think, has been a generation of neurotic kids, shuttled from soccer practice to soccer practice, and raised by TV and the Internet. Parents talk a good game about parenting, but forget the basic concept of just relaxing with their kids. Sonny, on the other hand, is the least stressed-out dad you could imagine. He can relate to Julian because he's basically on Julian's level, and his parenting amounts to goofing off a lot with the kid. The movie comes close to saying that the best parents are the ones with a lot of free time, i.e. without a career.

Big Daddy was directed by Dennis Dugan, who also helmed Sandler's ode to slapshot hostility Happy Gilmore, so even when the plot gets a little too poignant, Dugan has the sense to treat it lightly. (Even a potentially tearjerking separation scene is played for laughs.) In his jock movies, Sandler plays the undomesticated slob who gets the girl without having to be false to himself; in his grow-up movies, he presents himself as plausible husband and father material. Having done that, where can he go from here?

Adam Sandler represents the Atari generation of guys passing uneasily into adulthood, and it will be interesting to see where his instincts take him in the next decade or so.

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originally posted: 02/01/07 14:50:31
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User Comments

8/26/12 roscoe average at best. the layla character aonest bonding ruined laughternd the h 2 stars
7/20/08 Shaun Wallner Sandler brings it again in this film! Genius! 5 stars
3/02/08 SamanthaPayntr so funny, that kid is cute! i always get all misty at the end, awwww 4 stars
2/08/07 Raph Branca More Sandler nonsense. That's a good thing. 4 stars
12/06/06 Sharon This movie was just ok for me. Afew chuckles. 3 stars
7/08/06 NS Hilarious and awesome! 5 stars
6/06/06 Tyler Totten funny funny movie 5 stars
5/02/06 Anthony Feor Adam Sandler can do Drama, I was surprised too 3 stars
3/21/06 natalie very funny i watched it over 100 times 4 stars
2/13/06 jessica im in love with that movie i just watched it last night cole and dylan did great 5 stars
12/24/05 cody a good adam sandler with great music like sweet child of mine, good soild picture 4 stars
12/03/05 Jennifer S. The best movie Sandler ever made! 5 stars
7/22/05 tony A classic funny film! 4 stars
7/20/05 Amy wonderfully funny movie 4 stars
6/03/04 lesa Williams i loved this movie. there was no point but then again it was hilarious. 4 stars
2/16/04 the gourd Sandler is a fucking faggot, anyone who likes his movies likes dicks in their mouth 1 stars
2/10/04 Whatevr Worth going out and renting. 4 stars
2/06/04 Tim Cappitte one of the best movies ever 5 stars
12/10/03 animosus This movie is good, not because of Sandler but because of the twins. Watch and rate it ! :) 5 stars
10/26/03 Samuel boring at times... 3 stars
10/01/03 Crysal Pezant Best Movie All Around 5 stars
9/26/03 Christina Best Movie!! I have it at home and i love watchin' it!! It's one of Adam's best movie!!!!!! 5 stars
7/26/03 3man Less funny and more sappy than other Sandler flicks. 4 stars
5/22/03 joe mama sandler sucks altogether 1 stars
5/02/03 kitfo was that a movie or a McDonald's commercial 1 stars
4/12/03 Jack Sommersby Good time-killer, but it goes waaaay too nice in the final third. Ech! 3 stars
11/09/02 Michael Bolton oh my god, sandler's downhill trail of crap continues... 1 stars
11/04/02 kymberly the best movie eva 5 stars
7/28/02 Kyle Great movie 5 stars
7/07/02 hilarydsur awesome but sad 5 stars
6/29/02 Film Dude Not as good as Happy Gilmore. 3 stars
6/08/02 Film Guy ALRIGHHHHHHHHHHHHT 4 stars
4/03/02 Butterbean This and The Waterboy made me stop going to Adam Sandlers movie in theaters. 2 stars
1/16/02 David A. A comedy that ends up being a heart-warmer. Good if you like that sort of thing ( I don't) 4 stars
1/02/02 Andrew Carden Tries To Be Funny, but The Script Is Lame and Quite Dull. 1 stars
12/25/01 Jeremy okay 5 stars
11/19/01 Badfish Excellent!!! 5 stars
11/09/01 Mark Scubaman is the true star of the movie. 5 stars
8/31/01 Gary Toilet humour at its worst. The ending made me want to vomit. 1 stars
8/09/01 E-Funk Good intentions, some funny stuff, but overly-sappy. 4 stars
8/07/01 Mr. Hat I can't help it. I love this movie. 5 stars
6/07/01 King Jackass Joey Lauren Adams is fine! Oh yeah, the movie was okay too. 4 stars
5/07/01 Gracy Lionheart I am not a Sandler fan, but I actually liked this movie. 4 stars
4/09/01 Gary This is a really good movie. I like it because Sandler plays a serious role. 4 stars
4/04/01 Andrew Carden The first Sandler movie to be heartwarming. He should stick to crude stuff though. 3 stars
3/11/01 Shaun Turner awesome, sandler's greatest movie 5 stars
12/28/00 Turtle Jon Stewart saves this from being a blob of nothingness. 2 stars
12/01/00 Elvisfan Stink. Stank. Stunk. Adam & his fan need to grow up 1 stars
8/15/00 Chickiepoo Piss poor acting and not funny! 1 stars
7/30/00 The Bomb 69 it was stupid humor done well, entertaining 4 stars
4/24/00 Ryan Only good part was looking at adam sandler... he kinda cute 2 stars
4/21/00 foxgroundcolt hooters,hooters,hooters!!! 3 stars
3/25/00 Richard Wright Not bad as Sandler movies go, but his popularity remains mystifying. Fun, if not memorable. 3 stars
3/10/00 David Rogers Boring and unfunny. Adam what have they done to you! 1 stars
3/10/00 Kyle Broflovski Adam Sandler's trademark hoarse yelling alone is worth the ride. 4 stars
12/12/99 Obi Wan Last Adam Movie I ever watch! Movies sucked...repetive Gay and Tit jokes!! get boring 1 stars
11/09/99 MAFIABOY!! wanst expecting much........walked out with nothing. 2 stars
11/05/99 Mike Very avaerge movie 2 stars
10/13/99 Rachael Very funny 5 stars
10/13/99 Alison A great movie for all to see. Recommend it for everyone 5 stars
10/10/99 HotStuff It was okay but I waz expecting better?? 4 stars
10/06/99 karen good 5 stars
10/04/99 Lindsey I loved this movie, I thought it was another great Adam Sandler movie!!! 5 stars
10/03/99 amanda cool ass 5 stars
9/24/99 KK Marginal at best. 3 stars
9/23/99 Mark Dainty Where's the funny angry Happy Gilmore guy. Better than "The Waterboy" - but only just. 3 stars
9/16/99 Ratso I'm sorry, Adam Sandler movies aren't complete unless he fights a game show host. 1 stars
9/12/99 Jason Kinsey Sandler's movie's are getting kinda gay 3 stars
9/11/99 Timbo MEDIOCRE 3 stars
8/26/99 Ami the Wonderbread worth a look 4 stars
8/13/99 cody better than Waterboy, not close to happy gilmore 4 stars
8/13/99 Dragonfly Rent it on video. Don't see it in the theater. 3 stars
8/01/99 Obi Wan Not Impressed at his Gay Jokes..Tit Jokes..and his jokes seemed lame!!!!!!!!!! Hated it!!! 1 stars
7/31/99 Michael Glaringly sappy, scarcely funny, & Adam Sandler failing as an actor. Fucking worthless 1 stars
7/27/99 trend the ending needed a little help but all in all a movie worth seeing 4 stars
7/27/99 emperor what was with the ending? 2 stars
7/25/99 Craig At least he got rid of that stupid accent from that crap-fest the waterboy. 4 stars
7/22/99 Miss Bee starts out pretty good, but seems like they just made up some crap at the end to end it. 4 stars
7/12/99 Katie It was okay, cute and some funny parts, but no Billy Madison. 3 stars
7/11/99 Starry Knight A million times better than the WaterBoy 5 stars
7/11/99 Cherry I don't like 'Guy Movies'. This one is defintely a 'Guy Movie'. GROSS! 3 stars
7/10/99 Chef ADogg Soft core comedy is not as bad as soft core porn, but nearly. 3 stars
7/10/99 Scott Pretty much what you would expect from a Sandler movie. Same character, different name. 3 stars
7/08/99 Polly All I can say is that I love the funny mooV's best! 5 stars
7/06/99 Angie ok...every funny part in the movie was in the previews!! overall it was really cute. 4 stars
7/05/99 Tristynn not as bad as I expected.. pretty good for a Adam Sandler movie..this one HAD a story line! 4 stars
7/04/99 Dave Worth renting but not a trip to the theater 3 stars
7/03/99 EmpresS Some Humor, not a lot, are the key words... 3 stars
7/03/99 Bill Hartman Like a cross between Billy Madison and the Wedding Singer. Some Humor, Some Heart. 4 stars
6/30/99 Tony Daquano best since Happy Gilmore 5 stars
6/30/99 Kortan Worth it jsut for the sheryl crow cover of Sweet Child o' Mine 4 stars
6/29/99 Jason Erbey Adam Sandler is THE MAN!!! I love him! 5 stars
6/29/99 iyu Kicks the shit out of Waterboy. But not as funny as his others. A really cute movie though. 5 stars
6/28/99 Bartleby It was a typical Sandler movie, lots of laughs, little substance 4 stars
6/28/99 Spoon I thought it was very poorly thought out. i might have giggled a few times 1 stars
6/28/99 Cage Calm down everyone... It was very funny, but OK at best. 3 stars
6/28/99 Randall There was so much good in this movie, but something still didn't sit right with me 4 stars
6/28/99 P.S.O.K That judge was a bitch! 4 stars
6/28/99 matchbox20 FUNNY MOVIE. The best 7 bucks I have ever spent! 5 stars
6/26/99 jvt Sandler's best since Happy Gilmore despite diving into some sappy moments 5 stars
6/26/99 Mr Showbiz The gags are almost as abundant as the product placements for McDonalds and Hooters 4 stars
6/26/99 Malbert Different from Adam Sandler's usual, but still great 5 stars
6/26/99 Jason Pedrick It was ssoooo funny 5 stars
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  25-Jun-1999 (PG-13)


  16-Sep-1999 (PG)

Directed by
  Dennis Dugan

Written by
  Steve Franks
  Tim Herlihy
  Adam Sandler

  Adam Sandler
  Joey Lauren Adams
  Jon Stewart
  Leslie Mann
  Josh Mostel

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