Friday, April 5, 2013

That's My Boy (2012)

**This review contains spoilers**

As a thirteen year old, Donny Berger (Justin Weaver) pursues a crush, which happens to be his teacher Mary McGarricle (Eva Amuri Martino). To his surprise, Ms. McGarricle pulls Donny into a private room during detention to have sex with him. After a few dates, Donny impregnates Ms. McGarricle. Ms. McGarricle is sent off to jail for a thirty year sentence, and Donny’s father is forced to care for the unborn child until Donny turns eighteen. Donny names his son Han Solo Berger, and Donny becomes a pop icon during the 80’s and early to mid 90’s. But once Han Solo turned eighteen, he abandoned his father, determined to never see him again.

In 2012, Donny (Adam Sandler) is a washed-up bum with no money, who’s stuck in deep debt with just about everyone. Donny’s lawyer, Jim (Rex Ryan) gives him the deadline for a payment of forty-three thousand dollars in back-taxes to the IRS. Donny must find a way to come up with the money, or he’s going to face some serious jail time. With no one else to turn to, Donny accidentally spots his long-lost son on a magazine cover for prestigious upcoming weddings. Donny secretly hatches a plan to trick Han Solo into a reality show meeting with his mother in jail. A sleazy and shameless TV show host named Randall Morgan (Dan Patrick) agrees to pay Donny fifty thousand dollars, if Donny can bring Han Solo and his mother face to face in prison.  Now an older woman and cutoff from the outside world, Mary (Susan Sarandon) is unaware of Donny’s plan, as she awaits his upcoming visit.

But Han Solo isn’t quick to welcome his father with open arms. To hide the shame and embarrassment, Han Solo came up with a story about his parents dying in an explosion, and he changed his name. Now a successful businessman, Todd Peterson (Andy Samberg) is about to marry his fiancĂ©e, Jamie (Leighton Meester). But the peaceful wedding planning takes a turn for the worst, when Donny suddenly shows up to crash the ceremonies. The wedding is days away, and in an attempt to save face and keep his secret, Todd introduces Donny as an old friend to Jamie’s family. Donny tries to trick Todd into visiting his mother for the reality show, but Todd is still bitter about his miserable and damaged childhood. Donny gets some help from his friend Vanilla Ice, but he’ll have to outsmart a suspicious Jamie, Todd, and Jamie’s crazy Marine brother, Chad (Milo Ventimiglia). And Donny has to close the deal quickly, or he will lose everything.

Character wise, Adam Sandler is someone, who you can usually root for. In Billy Madison, I wanted him to graduate, get the diploma, and taker over his father’s company, because Bradley Whitford’s character was such a slimy asshole. I wanted him to succeed in Happy Gilmore. In the Waterboy, you could get behind Bobby, because he was bullied, and I wanted him to kick some ass and fight back. In Big Daddy, I rooted for Sandler to become a man, and take care of his responsibilities. And this breaks the trend I’m on right now, but in Anger Management, Sandler was a wimp, who couldn’t stand up for himself, so of course, I rooted for him to find his courage. Bottom line, Sandler is usually an immature douchebag in most of his movies…..but he’s a likeable immature douchebag. I can’t say the same thing about Donny. He’s such an unlikable, and more importantly, unfunny douche.

Like Sandler, Andy Samberg tries way too hard in this film, and he’s just not funny. Susan Sarandon is pretty good, and for some reason, her character is wearing an 80’s style Hulk Hogan shirt in prison. Unfortunately, old Mary only has the one prison scene. Dan Patrick brought a few chuckles out of me, as the narcissistic TV personality. Vanilla Ice is just horrendous. He tries to poke fun at himself throughout the movie, and it’s just painful to watch. Leighton Meester is just eye candy. Although, she has a few moments as the psychotic and obsessive, controlling bitch. And Sandler’s buddies fill up the majority of the supporting cast. If you’ve seen most of Sandler’s films, you should know, who I’m talking about. Of course, Nick Swardson is here. He plays Sandler’s weird and perverted loser friend, who stalks around the local strip club. And no, he’s not funny at all.

That’s My Boy pulls out all the stops: incest, gross-out gags, masturbation gags, raunchy sex jokes, and vulgar, over the top douchebaggery. Oh, and they actually used the “wazzzzuuuuup!” from the old Budweiser commercials as a running gag throughout this film. Overkill is a big problem in That’s My Boy. After the first fifteen minutes, the jokes lose a lot of steam. It’s kind of hard to produce more shocked reactions, when you start off the movie with an inappropriate teacher/student relationship, and constantly piling on a bunch of immature frat boy style gags every five minutes doesn’t help anything.

Don’t be fooled by Sandler’s trip into raunchy R rated territory. He’s not doing something different. It’s the same old tired and boring shtick you’ve seen for years. He’s just more vulgar and nasty in this movie, that’s it. I tried really hard to laugh at That’s My Boy, but I couldn’t 90% of the time. It’s just an awful film, and Sandler continues to sink lower with each passing year. Ugh, this is what happens, when I stay up late, and watch some random movie on Starz.

 Final Rating: 1/10

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