(Photo via MovieFone)
By Laura Bonnington
When the name Adam Sandler is brought up, there are three possible responses that occur: 1. Omg! I love him he’s the best! 2. *disappointed sigh* or 3. How could you like such an untalented and unfunny person?
I would categorize myself under #1; Adam Sandler helped shape my childhood. I grew up watching Billy Madison and Mr. Deeds and Happy Gilmore on ABC Family along with reruns of his Saturday Night Live sketches. Most of the time I didn’t even understand the humor, I just knew my siblings found it funny so it was automatically funny to 8-year-old me. We grew up speaking the language of Adam Sandler, purely in his silly voices and movie quotes.
After his first five major movies, Adam Sandler began to lose his rep. People who were once fans turned and decided that he was inherently unfunny and just a guy trying to make some quick money. Since then there have been memes made making fun of how he dresses and some of his lower-rated movies, but I have a big problem with that. He has done nothing but try to bring a smile to people’s faces. His lowest rated movie (not including the Netflix-deal ones), Jack and Jill, was still able to pull in 74.2 million at the box office. No matter what people claim to think of him, there is an audience for his movies and a reason he has a $400 million dollar net worth.
On Rotten Tomatoes, his films have ranged between a 0% and a 67% (only including films he starred in and were produced by his company, Happy Madison). The critics don’t realize that people aren’t going to his movies to see something with a beautiful story arc that will keep the audience thinking and pondering about all of life’s greatest questions. No one goes to an Adam Sandler movie expecting to come out as a changed person. Watchers are going to the movies to see something lighthearted that will make them laugh. In a world with so much hate and violence, maybe people enjoy taking 90 minutes of their time to just laugh and be carefree and forget about all of their stresses, if only for a short period of time.
In an interview published by Independent, Sandler stated, “I didn’t get into movies to please the critics. I got into it to make people laugh and have fun with my friends.” After watching his movies for a while, one begins to realize that he really does just use his friends in his movies. Grown Ups was a film about having a good time with your buddies and about grownups who hadn’t really grown up yet. In his movies he’s gone to Hawaii, South Africa, Puerto Rico, visited water parks, gone on a cruise, and has basically gotten to vacation while filming for his movies.
However, he did also make movies with more heart and story to them such as The Wedding Singer and Click. The Wedding Singer touched hearts with its ending song “Grow Old with You,” in which he sang to Drew Barrymore’s character, Julia, about all the things growing old with her would entail. Click taught its audience that you have to live through the bad times in order to enjoy all the good. These movies proved that when Adam Sandler really tries, he can produce heartwarming classics.
Being a comedian doesn’t mean you have to be funny all the time. On October 2nd 2017, Jimmy Fallon aired a video of Adam Sandler and Miley Cyrus singing Dido’s “No Freedom” as a tribute to the victims of the Las Vegas shooting. It was the first time I’ve heard him sing without a silly voice or any hint of comedy and it was a beautiful, unplanned tribute. Adam Sandler has brought me so much joy from the cheesy humor he puts into his movies. He is someone that people have always had strong opinions about, typically those who like and those who dislike. But without him, the world would be a much darker place. Some people genuinely do not find him funny and probably never will, but for those of us that love him and get excited for each new movie release, he’s our comedic-relief hero. His movies are eternalized online and on DVD, along with his Saturday Night Live sketches, and they will always be there to bring a smile to our faces.