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.
Clint Eastwood filed a $10 million libel suit in San Jose, Calif., Tuesday against the author and publisher of the unauthorized biography, Clint: The Life and Legend, which he says portrays him as an atheist and wife-abuser. The suit accuses St. Martin's Press and author Patrick McGilligan of lying about Eastwood and "setting out intentionally to destroy [his] reputation," The Associated Press reports. Eastwood's attorney Marshall Grossman said the book, released in the United States in August, is riddled with false statements and incorrectly claims the actor struck his first wife. McGilligan stands by the book and said that while he is upset about the suit, he is not surprised. "He has sued people religiously," he told the AP."He's made a career of suppressing dissidence."
In his new book, It's Good To Be the King ... Sometimes, pro wrestler Jerry "The King" Lawler confesses that his infamous feud with comedian Andy Kaufman was a set up, the AP reports. The supposed feud began in Memphis when Kaufman tried out pro wrestling. Later, in a 1982 appearance on the David Letterman show, Lawler slapped the comedian, who in return threw coffee at him--as Letterman watched aghast. Lawler writes that he and Kaufman orchestrated the confrontation on their own, unbeknownst to Letterman and his producer. Kaufman died in 1984.
Britney Spears filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Monday against Skechers USA, Inc., claiming the footwear company ran ads for her brand of skates when the skates she endorses--and receives royalties for--weren't even for sale, causing consumers to buy Skechers' skates instead. Skechers, meanwhile, said Wednesday it would file a countersuit against Spears' company, Britney's Brands, Inc. They claim the singer failed to approve designs and manufacturers for the line, causing them to miss the fall season for the apparel industry, resulting in millions of dollars in lost sales, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Michael Jackson's baby-dangling stunt last month has given rise to a new video game. Available at www.madblast.com, the game features a cartoon version of the pop star hurling babies from a rooftop. Players must catch babies in a basket, but watch out! The cartoon Jackson also throws spiders that cause the basket to spill. At the end of the game, players receive a score--and an evaluation of their parenting skills.
Osbourne clan matriarch Sharon Osbourne gave a rather untraditional Christmas Day speech in Great Britain, the BBC reports. In the address, shown at the same time as Queen Elizabeth's traditional address, Osbourne had kind words to say about the monarch, whom she met at her Golden Julbilee. "She was very warm and amazingly down-to-earth, and I just told her that she had great tits," Osbourne observed. "Because she does."
Zsa Zsa Gabor, who was seriously injured in a car accident Nov. 27, is recovering rapidly. "I must say she is recovering very quickly," her husband Frederic von Anhalt told the AP. "At the beginning she was very moody, she wanted to give up. Now she wants to go home fast. She wants to recover and to ride her horses." Gabor remains in fair condition at Cadars-Sinai Medical Center.
Ken Tobey, who starred in the 1951 horror pic The Thing From Another World, died Dec. 22 at the age of 85, the AP reports. Since launching his career in 1949, Tobey had appeared in nearly 100 films--mostly Westerns and B-movies--and made dozens of television appearances.
Late night talk show host David Letterman spent Christmas Day with troops at the U.S. base at Kandahar, Afghanistan. According to the AP, Letterman was also due to visit the U.S. military headquarters at Bagram Air Base, but the trip was canceled because of bad weather.
The Hard Rock Café International is showcasing rock 'n' roll memorabilia to the public in a 17,000-square-foot museum in Orlando, Fla. Called the Hard Rack Vault, the exhibit features a portion of the company's 65,000 music artifacts that rotate among its restaurants, hotels and casinos worldwide, the AP reports. Items include guitars from Pete Townshend, Steve Cropper and B. B. King, as well as costumes worn by Elton John, Madonna and Prince.