Movie Review: Big Daddy (1999)

Posted: April 9, 2012 in Comedy
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Sonny (Adam Sandler) is a lawyer who’s taken time off from the rat race, and turned into a couch potato.  This doesn’t sit too well with his girlfriend Vanessa (Kristy Swansen) who moves out of their apartment.  Then one day, a child named Julian (Cole Sprouse) shows up at Sonny’s door, claiming to be the son of Sonny’s best friend Kevin Garrity (Jon Stewart) Kevin’s working in China and has a new girlfriend, Connie Maloney (Leslie Mann) so to avoid complications, Sonny uses Kevin’s name and adopts Julian.  Sonny teaches Julian some bad habits like peeing on the street, tripping rollerbladers with sticks, and not bathing, but eventually Sonny learns to be a good dad, bathes Julian, goes to his school plays and even finds a girlfriend using Julian as bait.  But what happens when social services finds out that Sonny is not Kevin Garrity?  Does he get to keep Julian or not.

This is a pleasant enough comedy, there is plenty of Sandler’s dumb guy bathroom humor, but less of it then his really bad movies.  Steve Buscemi makes his usual Sandler cameo, and makes the most of his few scenes as a homeless man.  Leslie Mann is funny as a doctor who used to be a waitress at Hooters . And it’s hilarious to see Jon Stewart in a minor role, seeing what a huge star he is now.  He had next to no lines in the film, and now everyone hangs on his every word.  The kids playing Julian weren’t that great, and the story was pretty predictable, but it was still nice to see Sandler try to bond with a little boy.  There was really no chemistry between Sandler and Joey Lauren Adams, his love interest in the movie, but she had the requisite sweetness for the role.  Not as good as Wedding Singer, Happy Gilmore, or Funny People, but ranks up there. Big Daddy is better than most of his films.

Big Daddy:  Not big on laughs but sweet and sentimental all the same.

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