by Bret W.
I have to tell you, when Adam Sandler started on Saturday Night Live, I kept thinking, “What is his appeal? How can anyone like this annoying person? Why don’t they get some real talent on SNL?” I was not thinking that at all when I watched Big Daddy. In fact, I really wasn’t sure I was going to watch it, but I gave it a try. I thought it was extremely funny, and Sandler himself was a very large part of the comedy, much to my surprise.
It’s the story of a man-child who has not come to grips with his adulthood. His non-existent career is the bane of all of his friends. He’s an enjoyable guy, but his lackadaisical attitude is lost on his career-minded friends and girlfriend. But when his roommate leaves for China, and his roommate’s long-lost son shows up on his doorstep, he decides that he’s going to show everyone, including himself, what a responsible and mature adult he can be.
What follows is some of the worst parenting in the history of the world. Dr. Spock would turn over in his grave. His girlfriend, nonplussed by his new-found responsibility, leaves him for an older man “with a 5-year plan.” He decides that he must take the boy back to Social Services, but changes his mind when he finds that the boy’s mother has died and that the boy would be put in an orphanage. Instead he decides to take the kid on, under false pretenses, and really make a go of this father business.
Although some of the story is a bit unbelievable it’s all explained very well by the incidentals. Besides, it’s a comedy! You can’t expect it to be 100% true-to-life. Like I said at the beginning, Adam Sandler was surprisingly good, and surprisingly human, in this role which seems to be almost too well written for him. Also very good were the supporting cast, including Joey Lauren Adams, Steve Buscemi, and the boy himself, played by twins Cole and Dylan Sprouse. It’s a good comedy with good laughs and one that is enjoyable on multiple viewings. It certainly changed my mind about Adam Sandler.