Dear So-and-So: Adam Sandler
Dear Adam Sandler,
Way back in 1995, I worked in a movie theater. One day, we put up a “coming soon” poster that had you seated hunched-over at a small school desk with a disapproving Bridgette Wilson standing next to a blackboard in the background. “Hey, a new comedy starring that funny guy from SNL!” everyone thought. We were all so excited… and you did not disappoint! We’d constantly sneak in the theater during our shifts to watch BILLY MADISON. Though the movie wasn’t a huge hit ($24 million at the box office) and the humor was very low brow, we still loved it.
Then came HAPPY GILMORE, which for you was a slight step up in terms of your character’s intelligence, but the low brow humor remained in tact. Lightning struck twice. All the creative irreverence from BILLY MADISON flowed joyously through Happy’s veins and I was very pleased. Again, the box office wasn’t huge ($38 million), but you were definitely showing signs of progress. And thanks to the accessibility of home video, the audience for both Billy and Happy began to multiply.
You followed up with your first bona fide box office hit, THE WEDDING SINGER ($80 million), and instantly shot to movie-stardom. You found a happy marriage of both the juvenile humor and a new sensitivity with Singer’s style and it even led to some critical praise. You parlayed this success into two more consecutive megahits, THE WATERBOY ($161 million) and BIG DADDY ($163 million), and usurped Jim Carrey as the new maker of hit comedies. You seemed unstoppable…
As your popularity grew, your delivering of inspired, creative laughs lessened… and it all began with the release of the debacle known as LITTLE NICKY. This turd of a movie single-handedly flushed a huge chunk of your comedic credibility right down the crapper. But you were paid $20,000,000 to make it (your highest movie paycheck ever).
That was the first indicator that success had gone to your head – now, it’s more about the paycheck than the performance. Long gone are the days of “Billy” and “Happy”, now replaced by bottom-of-the-barrel losers like “Zohan” and “Chuck” (or is it “Larry”?). With “stupid humor” being the Sand-man’s main weapon of choice, one would expect you to be impervious to mediocre forms of funny. Clearly BILLY MADISON and HAPPY GILMORE were not Oscar-caliber exercises in the finer hypotheses of humor, but at least they both delivered the laughs and fun on a large, albeit juvenile, level. But as time went by, you seemed to develop a lame and lazy equation for calculating all your forthcoming comedies.
First, you make yourself the coolest and most confident person on the screen. If you watch the horrific MR. DEEDS, you’ll easily notice how you are the coolest and calmest person throughout the whole running time. Everyone loves you, Deeds! You always say the right thing and most other people come off as complete idiots in your presence. Was that the kind of persona that Billy Madison instilled? Hell f*cking no! Billy, Happy, and especially Bobby Boucher may have been stupid, yes, but they were also FLAWED characters, which in turn, made them more endearing. Other “I’m the coolest” examples: the ladies man in Hawaii, the super tough firefighter, the amazing quarterback in jail, the unstoppable Jewish killing machine.
Second, you’ve got to include as many poop, fart, puke, gay, and kicked-in-the-balls jokes that a PG-13 rating will allow. Don’t get me wrong, I do like bathroom humor — it just feels a tad awkward coming from a man whose hair is beginning to show streaks of grey. The use of farts and such is also the lowest of cheap forms for scoring laughs. Seeing as how you have been in the business for over 20 years, I expect comedy writing of a much higher merit before I shell out my hard-earned cash.
Third, you always have to cast your friends and fellow co-writers EVERY TIME! I understand people feeling obligated to do favors for those that they know in the industry, but it should never be at the expense of the final product. Rob Schneider? David Spade? Need I say more? Okay, I will. Allen Covert? Peter Dante? I’m sure everyone knows them because they’re in practically every one of your flicks. This has caused each subsequent movie to feel less and less original. It’s always the same old people praising you, oh great Sand-man, as their God for giving them film work.
Lastly, and most gratuitously, you must have a highly unattainable hottie play your love interest. Let me pose this question to the readers: Is Adam Sandler a super sexy, handsome man? Not to be mean, but I’m guessing that many would say no. And it’s not like you go to great lengths to make yourself appear very desirable (except maybe for Zohan, but your hair was ridiculous). So riddle me this: how the f*ck would I ever believe that you’d be able to score, drum roll please, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Salma Hayek, and most recently Brooklyn Decker?! It truly feels like you care more about the hotness of your costars than the quality of the material. And frankly, there’s just no way, even in wacky movie land, that you or whatever character you’re playing could ever get it on with any of those aforementioned beauties. And that takes me out of your films. I feel cheated as if you’re rubbing in my face the fact that you get to be a big, rich movie star through spoon-feeding ham-handed jokes designed for 12 year-olds AND make-out with gorgeous unattainable women. Honestly, I don’t want to root for a guy like that, but Sand-man expects us all to just go with it. Fat f*cking chance!
There is time left for you to change, Mr. Sandler! The drivel you still currently make still makes money. Case in point: GROWN UPS somehow grossed $162 million this past summer, which means studios will continue to milk your cash teat. It is time for you to stop insulting the people that supported you back in your “Billy” and “Happy” days (oh, yes, the Fonz is now a Sandler regular too). Maybe you should actually sit back and re-watch those flicks of yesteryear. Remind yourself of the simplistic fun you exuded with ease before you became a box office behemoth.
Start focusing your efforts and energy on developing more creative or even slightly more sophisticated brands of humor. Branch away from the mediocre performers that normally earn (ha!) parts in your comedies. Maybe even try teaming up with some SNL actors that truly display talent like Bill Hader, Will Forte or Kristen Wiig. Perhaps working with a skilled partner, like continuing a relationship with Judd Apatow, will allow you to infuse your roles with a bit more humility (you DON’T have to know everything or be the coolest guy on screen). Hell, how about growing a pair and actually making an R-rated comedy? That way both teens and adults can find enjoyment.
And, for the love of Canteen Boy, start casting women closer to your own age and/or attainability level as your love interests! Brooklyn Decker is 23 years old. You look ridiculous next to her. And don’t try to rationalize it by saying that you end up with Jennifer Aniston in the end because, newsflash, she ain’t in your league either. It completely ruins any realism you’re trying to convey with your movies.
If you think all I have said is just a bunch of gibberish, Adam, then hopefully, the youth of America will wise up and begin recognizing your lazy ways. If not, then I guess we better all prepare to be bludgeoned next summer with your next uninspired comedy where you get to marry Miley Cyrus.