When it comes to the filmography of comedian Adam Sandler, there’s usually a pretty clear divide between what type of project each of his films qualifies as. Some, like Punch Drunk Love and the recent Safdie Brothers hit Uncut Gems, are critical darlings that the world just happens to enjoy as well. Meanwhile, with films like the Grown Ups series, or Netflix projects like the uber popular Murder Mystery, there’s more of a mixed attitude that has people claiming he’s merely phoning in his performance. A claim that Sandler himself is now refuting with great veracity.
In a recent interview, when asked about the “ups and downs” of his career, the SNL legend provided this interesting perspective:
Man, I don't know what the downs have been. I mean, maybe in some people, when they write about me, they talk about my downs. But I don't have any downs. I love every movie I've made. I've never in my entire career phoned one thing in.
Looking at the two halves of the so-called Sandlerverse of films, and thinking back to the performances that Adam Sandler has delivered throughout, it’s easy to agree with that sentiment. True, not everyone enjoyed the Netflix original films The Ridiculous 6, Sandy Wexler, or The Do Over, just to mention a few of those supposed “downs” Sandler was talking about on 60 Minutes. But you can’t say the man doesn’t go for it when he’s on the screen.
Even in his vocal role in the Hotel Transylvania series, it never sounds like he’s bored. So really, those “downs” are a publicly perceived dip, as opposed to an actual career
Part of that enthusiasm might be that Adam Sandler chooses his projects with a degree of care, including based on whether or not the location such a film is shooting in might be a place he’d love to visit. And while critics at large may criticize Sandler for frequently casting friends like David Spade, Kevin James, and Chris Rock, it’s hard for a performer to be in a bad mood when they’re starring in a movie with their closest comrades.
To the world, the cinematic canon of Adam Sandler is a mixed bag; but the Sandman himself, it’s all one big ball of fun. So while folks can put him down at their leisure, maybe the world can once and for all retire the notion that Sandler is merely going through the motions in his less Oscar-worthy performances.
Uncut Gems is currently available on digital HD, Blu-ray, and DVD; should you want to see one of Adam Sandler’s best performances ever. And if you are a fan of Sandler’s Netflix output, his continued deal to produce films for the platform is something you should keep in mind for the future.