Incest. Adultery. Sexual abuse of a minor. Todd Bridges and Vanilla Ice cameos. Adam Sandler’s detractors can’t say the comedian didn’t push the envelope with the consistently lewd and frequently outlandish That’s My Boy. The result? Something funnier than what we usually get from Mr. Grown Ups, and a step in the right direction for Andy Samberg’s film career.
Admittedly, that’s not saying much. Sandler has more Razzies than Oscars. He practically dared his fans to sit through the cross-dressing comedy Jack and Jill and the toothless ensemble romp Grown Ups. His Apatow experiment, Funny People, fell short. Many critics have all but given up.
And yet, Sandler’s tamer, watered-down features make tons of cash. Grown Ups and Just Go With It each crossed the $100M mark. So did Bedtime Stories, You Don’t Mess with the Zohan and I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry. Such a head-scratcher. It’s almost like the less Sandler tries, the better he does with his audience.
Which helps explain why That’s My Boy, which manages to be pretty filthy, tanked at the box office. Revisiting the film for this review, the foul-mouthed Boy falls more in line with Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore and Little Nicky, with Sandler playing an idiotic man-child who places himself in bizarre scenarios and somehow lures high-profile celebs for amusing supporting parts. Did you ever expect to see Susan Sarandon in a Sandler comedy? Yeah, neither did I.
The low-concept comedy casts Sandler as Donny, whose one claim to fame stems from Donny getting his middle school teacher pregnant. Years later, the son born from that illicit relationship, Todd (Samberg), is grown up and trying to move on with his life. But on the eve of his wedding to the beautiful Jamie (Leighton Meester), the cash-strapped Donny shows up with his hand out, and the father-son duo uncomfortably struggle to bond.
Boy director Sean Anders (Sex Drive) adheres to Sandler’s proven formula, with dirty tweaks. The comedy embraces its R-rating with relentlessly filthy dialogue, vile bachelor parties at a low-rent strip club (Classy Rick’s Bacon & Leggs, which boasts a 24-hour omelette bar), and a doozy of a twist that you see coming … yet will probably still be surprised that writer David Caspe actually goes there. At 116 minutes, Boy is hopelessly bloated and beyond immature. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t funny in spots.
Given the fact that the movie’s so long, you wouldn’t think there was that much left to show. Yet, two featurettes on the new That’s My Boy Blu-ray boast more footage that didn’t make it into the movie, given the fact that the stars of the film enjoy improvising their way through most scenes until they find what's really funny.
There are five deleted scenes on the disc, including a longer look at the fake sitcom based on Donny Burger’s exploits. The bogus television show stars 90210 castoff Ian Ziering and Growing Pains dad Alan Thicke, and is just as weird as the rest of the comedy (in a good way). A Gag Reel, meanwhile, splices together dozens of blown takes from either a person laughing or another person swearing. One segment of the gag reel is just cast members dropping the "F" bomb after blowing a line. Another segment of the reel is just a montage of Meester trying to catch a softball from the movie's baseball sequence. It's sexier than you think. At the very least, Sandler and Samberg seemed to have had a blast making That’s My Boy.
Jump over to Who Are All These People?, and you'll find short segments on all of the guest stars in Sandler’s universe. There’s a behind-the-scenes clip on the fake Donny sitcom, with in-depth interviews with Ziering and Thicke. Given the fact that most of the sitcom sequences are cut from the actual movie, it's shocking how much time and energy was spent putting them together. Poor Thicke probably thought he was going to have a big part in Sandler's movie. Instead, if you blink, you'll miss him. There are clips with former ESPN analyst Dan Patrick -- who has become a regular in Sandler’s comedies -- and current ESPN analyst Erin Andrews. There are Q & As with Rob Van Winkle (aka Vanilla Ice) and the rest of the cast. Again, these are pretty in-depth, given the fact that they're all just talking about contributing to a Sandler comedy.
The final segments on the Blu-ray focus on two distinct locations from the film. Greetings from Cape Cod spotlights the vacation destination’s beauty before trotting out an old joke that finds new life in the screenplay. ("Whassup!!!") While Classy Rick’s Bacon and Leggs takes us on an unrated tour of the seedy strip club. Don't pretend like you aren't going to watch that supplement first.