The magical R-rating is both a gift and a curse to Adam Sandler's signature brand of lowbrow humor. In That's My Boy the comedian returns to the dim-witted roots that made him a star in early outings like Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore (complete with high-pitched mushmouth accent) but with a ramped up "ew" factor. Unrestrained Sandler piles on as many expletives and gross-out scenarios as a two-hour movie can hold — and it works out quite well. With costar Samberg nailing the disgusted straight man role Sandler's penchant for acting like a fool is enhanced by the sick stylings of director Sean Anders (Sex Drive) and only occasionally teetering into truly offensive territory. Laughs aren't guaranteed but the movie provokes (which is a big step up from Jack and Jill).
Back in the '80s Donny had a secret relationship with his teacher Ms. McGarricle that resulted in a son Han Solo (he's a middle schooler what do you expect?). The torrid affair put McGarricle in jail Donny into celebrity tabloid spotlight and Han Solo in the hands of a tween father. Thirty years later everyone's screwed up: Donny (Adam Sandler) is a drunk on the brink of jail time for tax evasion McGarricle's still in jail and Han Solo (Andy Samberg) now "Todd " is a successful number-cruncher with severe social issues. On the weekend of Todd's wedding Donny reenters his life hoping to bring revive their relationship and reunite him with his mother — that is on camera so Donny can make $50 000 from a gossip TV show and stay out of the slammer. Posing as Todd's long-lost best friend Donny stirs up trouble becoming buddies with Todd's friends and family and acting like a imbecile.
The wedding setup is overdone but always prime for comedy: plenty for a numbskull to screw up logical progression (there's a wedding at the end!) and a bachelor party scene to squeeze in the most disgusting bits and have them make sense. That's My Boy makes the most of its conventions — including what we all know and expect from a Sandler comedy — by continually one-upping itself. After a night of heavy drinking at the local strip club/omelette bar that results in do-it-yourself ear piercing and robbing a convenience store with Vanilla Ice Todd returns home to expel the night's worth of drinking all over his fiancee's wedding dress. Then he makes love to the dress. Then his fiancee (Leighton Meester) wakes up to find the dress. Then it goes even further than one would care to imagine. Grossed out yet? Amazingly lower-than-low brow material is handled with clever timing and great delivery. It's just that the foundation is bodily fluids.
That's My Boy falters when it throws in gags that serve zero purpose to the story. Strange racist humor a mentally retarded bar patron played by Nick Swardson (a Sandler mainstay) random allusions to Todd Bridges' drug habits — barrel-scraping one-offs that have nothing to do with the movie. At two hours the movie needs slimming and the fat is apparent. Thankfully the main ensemble goes to great lengths to make the hard R comedy click with Sandler and Samberg playing well off each other (although Samberg doesn't have the making of a leading man after this movie) and SNL alums like Will Forte Rachel Dratch and Ana Gasteyer driving by to bring the funny. Even Vanilla Ice's extended cameo fits the anything-goes tone playing a version of himself that befriended Donny in his celebrity days. Now he works at an ice skating rink.
After a few lame ducks That's My Boy is a return to form for Sandler. It wavers in quality but it has energy and color. A cash-in this is not and for any Sandler fan with a stomach for hardcore bathroom humor it's a must-see.
The Yizkor Memorial Service on Yom Kippur (08Oct11) will be dedicated to the women, Rabbi David Baron announced on Monday (26Sep11).
Baron says, "Each of these women of valour, in their own way, gave so much to humanity and the arts. They are eternal role models of decency and tzedakah (Hebrew word meaning righteousness)."
Ziskin lost her seven-year battle with breast cancer in June (11), while Chasen was shot dead in Los Angeles as she drove home from the premiere of Cher and Christina Aguilera's film Burlesque last November (10).
Mel Gibson has turned down the offer to publicly apologize to Los Angeles Jews on holy day Yom Kippur for anti-Semitic comments he made last month.
Rabbi David Baron invited the disgraced star to address his congregation on the Day of Atonement--as a way to prove he isn't anti-Semitic following drunken comments he had made to a traffic cop during a drunk-driving arrest last month.
But Baron has since been contacted by Gibson's publicist, who thanked him for his offer--and then declined it.
The Temple of the Arts rabbi tells website TMZ.com, "I was told Mr. Gibson is deeply involved in personal work which includes rehab, therapy and counseling for alcoholism."
Baron is still not willing to give up on the movie star and has now extended his offer to a later date. He has also volunteered to join with a group of Jewish leaders dedicated to educate Gibson about the dangers of anti-Semitism.
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Mel Gibson has been invited to meet with three prominent American Jewish groups, after his apology for making anti-Semitic remarks when he was arrested for drunk driving last week.
Gibson is alleged to have voiced his apparent hatred of Jews as he was being questioned by California police officer James Mee after he was caught speeding through Malibu, California, while drunk.
He has apologized publicly, asking the Jewish community to assist his "journey through recovery."
The 1939 Club, New York's Museum of Jewish Heritage and a Beverly Hills rabbi have all reached out and Gibson to meet with them.
1939 Club president William Elperin says. "Our members are offering that help, by assisting Mr. Gibson in understanding the extremes of anti-Semitism and what they and their families--many of whom were slaughtered by the Nazis--endured."
Museum of Jewish Heritage director David Marwell responded with a letter to Gibson that reads, "I would like to invite you to visit the Museum of Jewish Heritage--A Living Memorial to the Holocaust.
"We trust that you will not forget what has brought you to this point, but we would also like to support you in your efforts to create a better future."
Rabbi David Baron has invited the 50-year-old actor to speak at his synagogue for Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement, on Oct. 1.
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Mel Gibson has been offered the chance to prove he isn't anti-Semitic by speaking to Jews on one of their holiest days--Yom Kippur.
The Mad Max star hit the headlines at the weekend after he was arrested for drunk driving in California, but it was an angry tirade about Jews he launched into in front of the arresting officer which upset religious leaders and his Jewish movie mogul peers.
And now, Los Angeles' Temple of The Arts Rabbi David Baron is giving the actor/director the chance to make up for the shocking rant on the Jewish day of atonement.
In an open letter to Gibson, Baron writes, "I wish to invite you to come and speak in order that you might directly express to the Jewish community your remorse.
"I feel that Yom Kippur, Day of Atonement, would be an appropriate time.
"In our faith we are commanded to forgive when the offending party takes the necessary steps and offers an apology from the heart."
Gibson will be in good company if he agrees to speak at the temple in October--Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton delivered a speech there over Yom Kippur last year.
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