Ed Bedford 11:58 p.m., May 20
Comedy is Pain Dept.
In Jack & Jill, Adam Sandler sought to work through some of the self-loathing that comes with becoming insanely wealthy and leaving your old world behind in a cloud of cocaine dust and Lambo fumes. He did this by creating a horrific Jewish harridan of a sister who visits from back in the old neighborhood and winds up haunting him as he luxuriates in the L.A. soft life. How does he assuage the ravening ghost? By having Al Pacino fall in love with her and rebuke those who regard her as anything less than worthy while dressed as Don Quixote. A very sly admission that the redemption of a past that one has rejected is a fool's errand. But now we have the trailer for That's My Boy:
"CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?" cries Sandler as he curses his humble Brooklyn/New Hampshire roots. "I HATE YOU! I HATE THAT YOU HAUNT MY BEAUTIFUL LIFE! BUT I KNOW, DEEP DOWN, THAT I AM WHAT I AM BECAUSE OF YOU, AND SO I OWE MY SUCCESS TO YOU, AND SHOULD NEVER FORGET WHAT YOU'VE GIVEN ME! SO I MADE THIS MOVIE! AGAIN!"
Seriously. Was Jill the shrill Jew fumigating the bathroom for five minutes straight after eating Mexican food not offensive enough for you? Then how about a shouty, sleazy bro-dad who pukes on and then has sex with the wedding dress belonging to his son's fiancee? (Points to Sandler for taking the Woody Allen route and casting Andy Samberg as a Sandler stand-in this time.)
Another possibility: that scummy guy is what Sandler thinks of the schmucks who go see his movies. Moronic losers, the lot of them. And yet, they are why he is so very, very wealthy, and he would do well not to reject them. Hell, he might even need to pay attention to them. Because they made him. They are the embarrassing fathers of his lifestyle.
At any rate, this is clearly the work of a man in tremendous pain. Recall his speech at this year's Oscars: “I’m eventually trying to, one day, tell the truth. I don’t know if I’m ever going to get there, but I’m slowly letting pieces of myself out there and then maybe by the time I’m 85, I’ll look back and say, ‘All right, that about sums it up.'"