BAD TASTE DEFINES “THAT’S MY BOY”
If you know any 18-year-olds who are still in fifth grade, you might know someone who would enjoy Adam Sandler’s deepest dive into high raunch, “That’s My Boy.”
If you are the sort of person who appreciates crude humor so long as it is extremely crude (think Judd Apatow), I suggest drinking a six pack in the theater parking lot before stepping up to the box office for “That’s My Boy.”
Sandler’s main talent these day is to come up with a uniquely disgusting idea, then make it even more disgusting. The premise of “That’s My Boy” sounds rather sunny compared to the oozy humor and excrementitious situations that fill the screen.
But first comes the set-up. The Sandler character, Donny Berger, is only 14 in 1984…albeit a very cool 14. Seduced by his sexy blond teacher, Donny becomes a national hero for his precociously macho manner after his teacher swears her undying love as she is hauled off to jail – her tummy rounded with their love child.
Soon as Donny turned 18, he became a single parent responsible for raising this child – who Donny had named Han Solo Berger.
The catch is, Donny was a horrible parent, totally preoccupied with his own interests instead of looking after his son. We jump ahead to the present day, Donny is still an irresponsible bum closing in on middle age wearing his hair in a shag cut.
Han Solo (Adam Samberg), of course, has grown up to be a Wall Street wizard with lots of success and a wardrobe to match. Han has also taken a more responsible name – Todd – and a hot girlfriend he is about to marry.
Now Donny is in deep financial doo-doo and his only way out is to ask his disenfranchised son for a loan.
Now it is almost time for the “real” movie to start. Donny tracks down his son and jumps through nearly two hours of hoops arranged in concentric rings of increasing crudeness and disgust. It is Donny’s determination that is supposed to win us over.
That and his son’s realization that Donny does have some good qualities, after all.
But the plot is not the point here. The plot is only the rack on which to hang enough sex-pie-in-your-face humor to overwhelm the movie’s R rating.
There is one more cinematic note of interest: Vanilla Ice plays a caricature of himself, but does it with such strong presence and easy élan he becomes the most positive force in the picture. If Ice wants to revive his career by making movies, “That’s My Boy” is a good start.