That's My Boy Sean Anders

That's My Boy Sean Anders
There's an off-putting musk of desperation shrouding Adam Sandler's first hard-R comedy since Funny People. Still, desperation is at least a sign that the former lowbrow box-office titan is at least trying ― something else he hasn't done since his collaboration with Judd Apatow. That's not to say That's My Boy is anywhere near that film's quality, but freed to sling random crudities, Sandler and a game supporting cast manage to muster some gasp-inducing nastiness to keep the over-long and predictable plot from becoming unbearable. Aside from gags involving uncomfortably placed erections, uncommon sexual objectification and mishaps with bodily fluids, the film's humour mostly relies on woefully lazy nostalgia. Obviously inspired by the Mary Kay Letourneau story, Sandler plays Donny Berger, a high school student who impregnates his teacher. Writer David Caspe transports the situation to the '80s so that Donny can be a novelty celebrity in the early '90s (with all the references that entails) and a washed-up hasbeen by the time the primary story takes pace. Andy Samberg (of the underrated Hot Rod) plays the illegal couple's love child, who ditched his immature father's care as soon as he turned 18, and hasn't seen him since. Having changed his name out of embarrassment, Todd is about to get married when Donny worms his way back into his life. A lot of fuss is made about the value of love versus responsibility, not entirely justifying, but certainly celebrating Donny's selfish immaturity because his affection is genuine. They take the sentiment of the likeable rapscallion to ridiculous extremes; instead of calling the cops when Donny and Vanilla Ice (yes, he's playing himself) steal and shotgun beer in a convenience store, the manic clerk joins their bender because they seem like "fun guys." Every time the film seems ready to act responsibly and take a more mature tack with Hollywood conventions, it turns out to be just another set-up for ever-filthier gross-out comedy, which just reinforces the idea that there are no lasting consequences for screw-ups as long as they're entertaining and well-meanings. A flub-focused gag-reel and a smattering of deleted scenes are as unexceptional but passingly amusing as the film proper. (Sony)