Seriously Unfunny: Adam Sandler’s Fall Down the Comedy Hill

Written by Megan Alexander October 30, 2011

 

The other day I was watching TV with my roommate and we sat through a preview for what I believe to be the most terrifying film to come out this year. It is not The Thing or even Paranormal Activity 3, it is something much more terrifying. Brace yourself for Jack and Jill the new Adam Sandler comedy (oh the humanity!!!!!). Yes, Adam Sandler is back with yet another gem from his production company Happy Madison, which in the past provided us with such comedy classics like Duce Bigalow Male Gigolo, You Don’t Mess with the Zohan, Paul Blart: Mall Cop, Grown ups and The Zookeeper. These films cash in by relying on juvenile jokes that include gross out potty humour, predictable pratfall, a few groin hits and some off colour sexist remarks and I am sure that Jack and Jill will not disappoint this formula.

Now someone of you might be asking, how can I judge Jack and Jill, it is not even out in theaters yet? Well its true I have not seen the actual movie yet but I think the trailer speaks for itself. From what has been shown, I can not only tell you that this movie will be bad but I can also tell you its one dimensional plot. Jack (Sandler) is a wealthy Hollywood heavy hitter (which he has been playing a lot lately) and he must suffer through the holidays with his big mouth, over affectionate and unattractive twin sister Jill (Also played by Sandler). Jack hates Jill but his family loves her, she will not leave, hijinks ensue and for some reason Al Paccino has a crush on Jill (Really Al?). But in the end Jack learns about the importance of family (big awh) and Sandler gets nominated for another Razzie (big duh).

There was a brilliant joke in the season finale of South Park that hit Sandler’s films right on the nail. Stan who just turned ten is becoming cynical and starts to see things that he once loved as shit (literally).  When the boys go to a movie a preview for Jack and Jill is shown and Stan can only see shit on screen and the others see a potentially good movie.  The point of this gag is to point out that once maturity sets it is easy to see these Adam Sandler films for what they really are…which is shit.

 

What ticks me off the most is that Adam Sandler seems to be dragging along his comedic “talents” (no pun intended) by always going for the cheap laugh and playing an ugly woman is just another drop in the bucket. It is my personal belief drag, in comedies, can only be funny if it used as a proper plot devise. Films like Tootsie, Some like it Hot and Mrs. Doubtfire are great “drag” comedies because the male protagonist must pull off being a woman so they can achieve their goals thus a humor will evolve naturally. Films like The Nutty Professor, Madea and Jack and Jill fail because the actors are just playing women for a cheap laugh, which in the long run adds nothing to the plot and the novelty of the drag gag runs stale.

Scene from Tootsie

Now do not get me wrong, Adam Sandler has made some good movies (I really loved The Wedding Singer) but the films that he has chosen to make lately makes me question his motives and his seriousness for comedy. Adam Sandler, who is 45, still insistence upon pandering the same type of lowbrow comedies that he made when he younger because, unfortunately, he still profits from them. I would not be complaining this much about Sandler if I knew that he was only capable of pulling off juvenile humor but he has shown potential to be a really good dramatic actor…just not a profitable one.

Adam Sandler is an evil genius because he knows that these films are silly but more importantly he knows that they make him easy money. This is a fact that is satirizes in the film Funny People, in which he plays a sick comedian who has built a career on lazy lowbrow comedies (two in which he plays a mermaid and a baby) to make big bucks. The thing about Funny People is that Sandler does prove himself to be a pretty good dramatic actor. A fact that he has also proven in other films like Spanglish, Reign Over Me and Punch Drunk Love (a film in which Sandler received stellar reviews). The problem is however, that in terms of box office numbers these films do not compare to those of Sandler’s crappy comedies.  A really good Sandler performance will only bring in about 20 million dollars but a bland sub par performance will rank in about ten times that. So is he stupid for making these films or are we stupid for buying into them?

Adam Sandler is the master of spinning crap into gold and will continue to churn out quantities of cheap comedies for money versus quality films for well earned respect. It seems to me that Sandler has the potential to be a fine dramedy actor (like Jim Carrey or Robin Williams) but he chooses to make bad films just to make a good profit and is that not just the biggest joke of all?

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  1. the guy is as funny as bone cancer

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