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Thu12032020

Last updateMon, 24 Aug 2020 12pm

If you are looking for some good, empty-headed, Adam Sandler-branded fun while coping with the nuttiness in the world right now, please don’t watch The Wrong Missy: It will just depress you.

Sandler produced this one on his Netflix deal for buddies David Spade, Nick Swardson and Rob Schneider. Alas, Spade has never looked so bored, and the talented Lauren Lapkus is wasted.

Spade plays a business exec who meets a crazy girl (Lapkus) named Missy on a terrible blind date. He also meets Melissa (Molly Sims), his dream girl. When a big business trip comes up, and he’s allowed to take somebody along, he texts the wrong Missy—who shows up on his plane and starts raising hell. Of course, more hijinks ensue.

The movie starts off well enough, but quickly devolves into desperate humor with few successful jokes. Instead, there’s lots of barfing, falling down and predictable plot turns. The result: a Sandler product closer to Grown Ups 2 than Happy Gilmore.

The Wrong Missy is now streaming on Netflix.

Published in DVDs/Home Viewing

The second of four films in the Adam Sandler Netflix era after the horrible The Ridiculous 6 is still pretty bad moviemaking, but The Do-Over is a step in the right direction. 

Director Steven Brill made two of the better Sandler vehicles in Little Nicky and Mr. Deeds, and their third pairing has its moments. That’s thanks in large part to the pairing of Sandler and an effective David Spade, who is cast against type as Charlie, a nebbish nerd looking for new start on life. Sandler plays Max, who shows up at their high school reunion, takes pity on Charlie and fakes both of their deaths so they can smoke joints and drink for the rest of their lives.

The plot isn’t that simple; the two wind up being pursued by a killer in a fairly funny homage to Die Hard. The film is put together better than most of the later Sandler comedies, and it packs quite a few good laughs. Unfortunately, it also veers into overkill way too many times, and the gross stuff feels discordant and just wrong.

Still, I liked the characters, and the film classes up a bit at the halfway mark when Paula Patton enters the picture. She has a fight with Kathryn Hahn that is one of the better smack-downs you will see in a movie this summer.

The movie doesn’t work as a whole, but it does show that Sandler and Spade could be a good screen duo in the hands of a semi-capable director. Also, it has Natasha Leggero in it, and that’s always a good thing.

Had everybody just declined a few of the extreme sight gags, and perhaps edited a solid 15 minutes from the movie, I might’ve been able to recommend the film. As it stands, it’s a near-miss. Hey, a near-miss for Sandler these days is a major triumph! 

Published in DVDs/Home Viewing

A bunch of Chris Farley’s friends and family members sit down for introspective interviews regarding the John Belushi heir apparent who died at the very same age—and in a very similar way—to his hero.

David Spade, Adam Sandler, Bob Saget, Mike Myers and others share stories about their blessedly crazy friend in this serviceable documentary from Brent Hodge and Derik Murray. A film like this is only as good as its interviews and archival footage—and there’s plenty here for Farley fans.

Of the interview subjects, Myers is the best. From impersonating Farley backstage looking for a place in the Sprockets skit, to admitting that he sometimes feared for his physical well-being in Farley’s presence, Myers was amazing; I could’ve watched a whole film with him talking about Farley.

There’s plenty of time spent with Spade, Farley’s Bud Abbott to his Lou Costello, his Dan Aykroyd to his Belushi. Spade reveals that the loss of his friend hits him everyday, and his stories offer the best look into the man behind the mayhem.

The film covers Farley’s biggest achievement, Tommy Boy (Bo Derek shows up!) and the infamous Matt Foley sketch. (“I live in a van down by the river!” Scroll down to see it.) I still say Farley’s best work was in Almost Heroes, his last big role. The bit where he kept eating the eagle eggs killed me.

I Am Chris Farley is available on demand and via online sources including iTunes and Amazon.com.

Published in DVDs/Home Viewing

Adam Sandler has done it again: He has made the worst movie of his career. How do his films keep topping themselves in horribleness?

Grown Ups 2—a sequel to the Dennis Dugan disaster that joined David Spade, Chris Rock and Kevin James—is twice as bad as the original. Considering how awful the original was, I didn’t think such a feat was possible.

The plot involves Sandler moving back to his hometown, where a deer enters his house and promptly urinates on him. Then he goes shopping with his friends who fart and burp a lot. Then he has a big party where everybody dresses up as people from the ’80s (Pat Benatar, Bruce Springsteen, The Terminator). Then somebody farts again, and then the movie is over. I sat in a theater in which people were laughing their asses off every time somebody farted. It was one of the most-depressing experiences of my summer so far—and I had to sit through The Purge, so that’s pretty bad.

I have officially given up on Sandler. This is a talented, funny guy who can’t seem to say goodbye to people who drag him down.

Given the box office performance of this piece of crap—it earned more than $42 million on its opening weekend—Sandler will probably be giving Dugan plenty of directing jobs in the future. This is our loss.

Grown Ups 2 is unfortunately playing at theaters across the valley.

Published in Reviews