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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Big Daddy

I decided to title this post based on the film I will be discussing. No need for any pseudo-witty titles, correct? Anyway, this marks the beginning of Adam Sandler's noteworthy career of critically-bashed so-called "so-called comedies". It also marks the actor's first Razzie accomplishment, as he won for Worst Actor; the film itself was also nominated for Worst Picture, Worst Screenplay, Worst Supporting Actor for Rob Schneider, and Worst Director for Dennis Dugan. (Here's an interesting piece of trivia: Dennis Dugan and Adam Sandler have collaborated seven movies together, their most recent being Jack and Jill.) While Adam Sandler was known well before Big Daddy, with films such as Happy Gilmore and Billy Madison (the two of which provided the name of his company Happy Madison Pictures), this film truly brought Adam Sandler into the cinematic stratosphere. That's how I see it anyway.

This film probably defines my childhood, not that Sonny Koufax is like my dad and my mother left me on his doorstep, but that I've watched this movie practically everyday when I was younger. As a child, who cannot comprehend the quality of a person's acting, or even know the name of the actor playing the character, it was effortless for me to fall in love with any movie. Big Daddy just happened to be that true love of mine. Of course, there were many movies I enjoyed watching when I was younger, and still do today, but I mostly remember Big Daddy being the theme to my early years. I know the movie by heart actually, so watching this now, I understand about thirty-percent more of it. I now understand a total sixty-percent of the movie. That was a joke. This isn't Inception.

Adam Sandler plays Sonny Koufax, a lazy and unambitious slob who gains unofficial (and illegal I believe) custody over Julian, an easily-influenced kid with a slightly irritating accent attributed to typical child actors. After his girlfriend walks out on him, claiming she want a real life with a financially-stable relationship, Sonny is basically lost and needing a change in his own routine. In comes Julian, who was abandoned by his mother and the illegitimate son of Sonny's roommate, Kevin. The boy is now under the temporary, and again illegal, care of the ignorance of Sonny. Knowing Sonny's inability to handle his own life, it was evident that he would be overwhelmed by the unexpected arrival of a little boy. Over a short period of time, the two developed a relationship similar to that of a father and son, and that does not always constitute the idealistic 1950s montage of building tree houses and playing catch. That is clearly the truth as you witness the playful yet immoral activities they engage in, such as throwing sticks on the ground that cause roller-bladers to crash down. From covering messes with newspaper to encouraging urinating on the street, it is obvious that he is not what one would call a "good father", but he definitely cares for Julian. Adam Sandler's portrayal of such a caring father-figure is both believable and sweet, which comprises of one of his best performances, if you ask me. Then again, maybe my view upon the film is subjective because of what I said earlier. That I loved this movie as a child, and I probably still do love it as a child.

As for the remaining cast's performance, I would have to say not bad at all, especially Steve Buscemi's role as the neurotic bum who enjoys sausage McMuffins. One particular moment I find to be utterly hilarious was in the courtroom when he argues with Rob Schneider's Eastern-European delivery-guy. His high-pitched scream is so amusing to me. As for Rob Schneider's performance, I saw no reason for him to be nominated for Worst Supporting Actor. Granted, overall he is a terrible actor, but here he was actually funny and an enjoyable screen-stealer. (The two actors are often recognized in many of Adam Sandler's films.) Adam Sandler's love-interest, played by that actress from Chasing Amy, is too big-toothed and whispery for my taste, and I honestly saw no chemistry between her and Sonny. She was an ambitious lawyer, while Sonny was a part-time toll-booth operator. Then again, opposites attract?

There are, actually, several "pop-culture icons" in the film, such as the invisible sunglasses, Hooters, the loop-swoop-and-pull, and Scuba Steve of course. Okay, they may not be as culturally significant as a giant boulder chasing Indiana Jones or the Death Star, but they are memorable items of Adam Sandler's repertoire of movies. What we have here is somewhat of a classic of entertainment, something I'm sure everyone who's heard of Adam Sandler remembers fondly. While the critics generally did not care for it, I don't know a single person who didn't enjoy it. Hence, we have an example of how wrong the critics can be.

Watching it today, as the older, intellectual individual that I am, I still enjoy it just as much. Adam Sandler's supposedly awful acting go unnoticed by me, as well as all other questionable elements in the film. When I watch the movie, I'm transported to my old apartment, as that adorable five-year-old who cries whenever she leaves her daddy. (Not much has changed I guess.) Maybe that's why I enjoy it so much, since it reminds me of my childhood, because apparently a nice flashback is universally appreciated. You might have thought this post was rather short, but admit it, not having much to read is refreshing on the weekend. Salutations, and good day.

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