Review: That’s My Boy

PLOT: While barely in his teens, Donny Berger (Adam Sandler) fathered a child with his seventh grade teacher (Eva Amurri/Susan Sarandon). Now, grown up, the former Han Solo Berger, now Todd Peterson (Andy Samberg) is getting married, and wants nothing to do with his father, who rode a pathetic wave of fame to become a perpetually drunk forty-something that owes $43,000 to the IRS. Now, Donny needs Todd to participate in a televised reunion if he wants to stay out of jail-so he crashes his wedding party, and quickly turns his life inside out.

REVIEW: Boy oh boy- just when you thought Sandler couldn’t get any worse, out comes THAT’S MY BOY. I know some of his fans have been cautiously optimistic about this one, with many hoping Samberg might elevate the film a bit- not to mention the R-rating, but really- this is as bad as anything he’s ever done.

For me, any film that hinges it’s comedy on a sexual relationship between a twelve-year-old and an adult has pretty much lost me before the credits rolled- but while I thought the premise was in incredibly bad taste, I tried to roll with THAT’S MY BOY. Like many of his more popular films, Sandler rides a bit of that late-eighties/ early nineties nostalgia wave- with a hair metal soundtrack, and lots of D-listers playing themselves. But, when the biggest laughs in the film come from Vanilla Ice (who’s surprisingly game at making fun of himself) – you know you’re in trouble.

THAT’S MY BOY is pretty much the same, tired old comedy Sandler’s been putting out for decades now- albeit a more profane, R-rated version. But, THE HANGOVER this is not- as all the R-rating means is lots of gross-out comedy in the vein of other Happy Madison productions like BUCKY LARSON, mixed in with the typical heavy-handed dose of schmaltz that creeps up in the third-act.

For me, THAT’S MY BOY was painful- bordering on excruciating. Everything is so protracted and obvious, that it seems like Sandler just got his writers to throw all of his other comedies into a blender to make this “film”. Anyone wanna bet Samberg’s bride, played by Leighton Meester is a total bitch? And OF COURSE she’s got a psycho ex-marine brother (Milo Ventimiglia- who’s gotten ripped since HEROES). And hey- there’s an old lady around. Anyone wanna bet she’ll end up having gross-out sex with Sandler?

Poor Samberg really seems to be at a loss here, as he’s totally unsuited to play a straight-man, much less to someone like Sandler, not to mention Vanilla Ice, and even Todd Bridges. Will Forte injects a little life into the movie as Samberg’s uptight buddy, but he can’t even start to save this disaster, nor can gonzo casting such as Tony Orlando (Tony Orlando & Dawn yo!) as Samberg’s foul-mouthed boss, or James Caan as a pugnacious Irish priest. I will admit however, casting mother & daughter Eva Amurri/Susan Sarandon as younger/older versions of Sandler’s teacher was clever if obvious.

Suffice to say, THAT’S MY BOY is just another in a long line of shitty Sandler vehicles, and new blood like Samberg, director Sean Anders (SEX DRIVE), and DP Brandon Trost don’t do much to elevate this from the level of JUST GO WITH IT (I will admit to having missed JACK & JILL).

Review: That’s My Boy




About the Author

Chris Bumbray began his career with JoBlo as the resident film critic (and James Bond expert) way back in 2007, and he has stuck around ever since, being named editor-in-chief in 2021. A voting member of the CCA and a Rotten Tomatoes-approved critic, you can also catch Chris discussing pop culture regularly on CTV News Channel.