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.
Josh Randall, who plays Dr. Mike Burton on the NBC TV series Ed, was arrested Wednesday night for allegedly smoking crack cocaine in a Brooklyn park, The Associated Press reports. According to police, Randall was smoking crack with a homeless man in a park near the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Police say they also recovered a small quantity of crack at the scene. The 30-year-old actor has been charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance and could face up to seven years in prison if convicted. But his lawyer, Ken Glassman, said the allegations are a misunderstanding and are unsubstantiated. In a statement released Thursday Glassman said Randall asked a homeless man for directions to the bus, and the homeless man asked him for money. "Josh, who is not a New Yorker, was taking a walk in Brooklyn and got lost," he said. "Josh gave him $20--at which point he was arrested. Josh has committed no crime."
A spokesperson for the Osbourne family told USA Today that matriarch Sharon is in "very good spirits" following her first session of chemotherapy. The treatment is the first step of a three-month course in her battle with colon cancer, which will be shown on the second series of MTV's hit reality show The Osbournes.
New Zealander Andrew Adamson, who co-directed DreamWorks' animated feature Shrek with Vicky Jenson, has signed on to shoot the live-action feature adaptation of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. According to Variety, writer Ann Peacock will adapt the C.S. Lewis novel for Denver billionaire Philip Anschutz' Walden Media, which hopes to have the film in theaters by mid-2004. No distributor is attached yet.
Emmy-nominated actress Jennifer Aniston (Friends) will team up with funnyman Jim Carrey for Universal Pictures' spiritual comedy Bruce Almighty. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Morgan Freeman is in final negotiations to star. Directed by Tom Shadyac, the project is expected to begin production Tuesday in Los Angeles.
Academy Award-winning actress Halle Berry has signed on to star in Nappily Ever After, a film about a black woman's journey to self-discovery--including the decision to stop processing her hair and cut it short, according to The Hollywood Reporter. But the project just got an added boost: Scribe Tina Chism (Drumline) has signed on to do the screenplay based on Trisha Thomas' novel by the same name.
Director Paul Schrader (The Comfort of Strangers) is in negotiations to helm the untitled prequel to The Exorcist, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Schrader is taking over the reigns from the late John Frankenheimer, who died one month after voluntarily stepping down from the project. The film, which stars Gabriel Mann, Liam Neeson and Australian actor Billy Crawford, is expected to begin shooting in the United Kingdom and Spain in November.
The fifth upcoming season of the hit NBC comedy Will & Grace is heating up to be a good one. According to The Hollywood Reporter, crooner Harry Connick Jr. will be joining the cast as a new love interest for Grace, while Jack gets hired as a personal assistant to Kevin Bacon, who will be playing himself. The new season of Will & Grace debuts Sept. 26.
Rapper P. Diddy and Shakira have joined the lineup of performers for MTV's 2002 Video Music Awards, which will take place Aug. 29 at New York's Radio City Music Hall. Previously announced performers include Pink, Eminem and Bruce Springsteen. Britney Spears, Nelly, B2K, Bow Wow and Elton John will help hand out the awards, MTV.com reports.