Sax von Stroheim writes:
God knows, they aren’t very well made. Adam Sandler may be our Jerry Lewis – he certainly seems to embarrass middlebrow would-be-sophisticates in the way that Jerry did – but unlike Lewis he has no interest at all in filmmaking as a craft. I get the sense that he thinks of the film set as a place where he and his buddies get to hang out at.
But I find them really funny and they are usually about things that are actually relevant to life in contemporary America. For instance, Jack & Jill deals with diversity and stereotypes in a very direct way that’s rare in mainstream entertainment today: Sandler’s movies don’t have any of the ironic distance and intellectual gamesmanship of Sacha Baron Cohen’s movies or Larry David’s shows.
If a comedy is funny, does it matter if it’s made very well? Well, a little, I think, in as much as better filmmakers can, theoretically at least, pull off more elaborate gags. But I don’t think it matters as much as it does in other popular genres: a good action movie, for example, almost always comes down to the filmmaking.
Anyway, I do love Adam Sandler movies, though I find myself completely uninterested in trying to convince anyone else that they should love them or even like them. I mean, he’s ridiculously popular and successful, why should anyone (let alone me) care that most film critics treat his work with an almost reflexive revulsion?
- FWIW, Armond White loves Sandler, too.
- There are a couple of Sandler movies on Netflix Streaming right now. Happy Gilmore is one of his earliest starring-vehicles: it gets pretty close to a “pure” Sandler experience and is a great place to start if you’re at all interested in giving the Sandman a chance. Anger Management is more representiative of the later, “higher concept” Sandler movies. (Punch-Drunk Love is on there, too: it’s a great movie, though doesn’t really count as an “Adam Sandler movie”, IMO.)
- My favorites – Jack & Jill, The Waterboy, and The Wedding Singer – aren’t on Netflix right now, but they’re the kinds of movies that show up on cable all of the time.