Adam Sandler is funny. Adam Sandler is not funny. Both of these things are true. Today I read this article which informs me that Adam Sandler is “awful.”
I have not enjoyed everything Adam Sandler has produced. But he has his moments. I remember enjoying his “Opera Guy” on SNL when I was a teenager. I have laughed at some of his movies. Some of his movies I have not seen (or shut off after watching part of them) because they were too filthy, too over the top. For every good movie he makes, he seems to crank out another two or three horrible ones.
But his trilogy of romantic comedies he made with Drew Barrymore I have really enjoyed: The Wedding Singer, 50 First Dates, and Blended.
And I would like to take issue with this Washington Post article written by Michael Miller. Evidently some Native American actors walked off the set of Sandler’s latest movie because of offensive stereotypes. In reading the article, this sounds like one of the filthy, terrible movies, and so I will not be seeing it. But in his defense, it also sounds like they are making fun of the stereotypes, not perpetuating them. But I’m not there, so I don’t know. All I know is that people seem to get offended too easily today.
For instance, Mr. Miller’s critique of Blended (which he calls “bad and bigoted”), which I and the rest of my family found hilarious. Full disclosure: we are not racists. His article quotes another critic, Richard Brody, who speaks of the problems with Blended:
- “The Friedmans get out of their limo and are greeted by the hotel’s staff, all black…” Well excuse me, Mr. Brody, but they are in AFRICA. Specifically, the movie was filmed in South Africa, where 79% of the population is black. I get the feeling that if most (or even half) of the staff were white (or at least non-black), Mr. Brody would have complained about how that is not ethnically representative: “Where are all the black people?”
- “...starting with a singing group, called Thathoo (pronounced “Tattoo”). The group leader’s eye-rolling and glad-handing, his lubriciously insinuating and exaggeratedly jiving, all seem to be taken straight from a minstrel show.” I’m wondering if Mr. Brody even watched the same movie I did. Thatoo was one of the best parts of the movie because they were ridiculously hilarious. Terry Crews nailed that role. The “eye-rolling” is a signature of Terry Crews specifically.
- “There’s also an obsequious greeter whose exaggerated ingratiations would shame the hospitality business.” Of course he’s obsequious: he’s a concierge, not just a greeter. I could name any number of films with white concierges who behave in the same manner. And at the end of the movie the concierge reveals that his affectation was an act (he knew all along they were not who they said they were).
- “And there’s an elderly slacker, sleeping on the job and avoiding responsibility, whose lazy ways are a monstrous and venerable cliché.” So if an old person is seen sleeping on the job, and they happen to be black, that’s a cliché and a racial stereotype? Come on, man. It seems almost like this guy is assuming racism where none exists, much like the man who cried racism about the term “black hole” in a city council meeting.
What it comes down to is that Blended made 126.8 million and cost 40 million to make. That means they made $86.8 million on the movie. I’d call that a success. I guess Mr. Brody would call it evidence that racism abounds.
Mr. Miller refers to “The genius of Punch Drunk Love.” Well, I for one hated that movie. I thought it was stupid, and was not entertained, which is the point of watching a movie. The movie cost $25 million to make, and only brought in $24.5 million. So you can give it all the critical acclaim you want, but if the Hoi Polloi (common people) hate it, then it’s a bad movie. And that movie, which is heralded by Mr. Miller as Sandler’s best movie, cost half a million dollars more than it brought in. So it doesn’t matter that it has a good rating on Rotten Tomatoes. People didn’t go see it. Why? Because it stunk. I’m getting tired of being told by a bunch of critics what I SHOULD like.
So while Sandler has made bombs like “Jack and Jill” and “Little Nicky”, he has also made hilarious movies like “Blended.” I would call that far from awful.