As a film nerd, the worst part of starting a new relationship is that often when you start watching a movie at home with your partner, you end up interrupting it. The reason this is a problem is it starts a precedent. When you’re able to finish a movie without interruptions, it can suggest the romance has cooled. Then again, who wants to have a make out party watching – say – Raging Bull? Wait. Don’t answer that.
ADAM SANDLER AND WOMEN
When doing Geekweeklive last week, it was pointed out that women like Adam Sandler now. I mean, this is sort of obvious. The film that broke Sandler to a mainstream audience was not his well regarded first solo efforts. Though Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore have their followings, it was 1998’s The Wedding Singer – which quietly played under Titanic’s wing for months – that turned Sandler into a romantic comedy figure.
Since then, Sandler does what would normally be called a one for them, one for me type of plan, but more in the sense of doing something more wacky and with his boys, and something that plays up his romantic or family centric comic chops. For every film like Little Nicky, there’s something like Big Daddy. For every You Don’t Mess with the Zohan, there’s a 50 First Dates. And then with Sandler there’s also the art films that he’s tinkered with, though doing a Judd Apatow movie was sort of a 50/50 when it comes to commerciality.
As I’ve said before in this column, Sandler has been good about appealing to his base, and a film like Grown Ups played all summer long, and ended up making $162 Million at the box office. That total is about a million shy of his highest gross (Big Daddy), and a million over his third biggest gross (The Waterboy). Most of his straight comedy films do over a hundred at this point, and usually more.
The formula – regardless of who it’s expressly playing to – is usually the same, and has been since the start of his career. A man-child grows up in some important way. Whether it’s taking care of a child, being tamed by a woman in whatever fashion, or becoming a professional golfer, this formula works well for Sandler and company, and they’ve found many variants.
And at this point, when Sandler is in comedy mode, he is bullet proof. Drew McWeeney just unloaded on his latest, Just Go With It , but the problem is that critics have been unloading on Sandler from the start. How are you going to sell his audience that this is a bad Adam Sandler movie if it isn’t Little Nicky-esque in its design? The answer is that Sandler is going to have to actively start fucking his audience over, or get caught making out with guys, or start jumping on a couch. The “dead girl/live boy” scenario. If Sandler was caught having an affair with co-star Brooklyn Decker or giving Brooklyn an upper decker (couldn’t resist), the core would turn out. Then again, if his base is partly driven by the fact that women are comfortable with him, perhaps it would be disastrous. But like any good A-list star, he keeps his private life private, and if he’s a terrible husband/father/etc. those around him know it’s not worth the loss to make that public. Sandler is bulletproof for now. Until he isn’t.
IS THE PREDICTION WET, WENDY? (YES, DAMON)
It’s like the warm up to St. Valentine’s Day, which is on Monday. And gentlemen, remember, there’s nothing more romantic than anal. The Super Bowl suggested that Sandler and company – by casting Brooklyn Decker and her wet swaying chest melons – might have some problems with selling this film as a date movie. But Jennifer Aniston might help. Seasons don’t fear the reaper, and Adam Sandler should not be doubted when in his wheelhouse. Taxes, death, Sandler.
There are also three other movies opening. Justin Bieber is an opening weekend picture, but with the 3-D bump this should be a solid opening and Gnomeo might do some business because there haven’t been any kid’s movies in the top ten since Yogi Bear. Still, it’s off season and everyone knows it. The Eagle looks like a theatrical dump, between the release date and the lackluster advertising.
So let’s wrap it up:
- Just Go With It – $31.5 Million
- Justin Bieber: Never Say Never – $30.9 Million
- Gnomeo and Juliet – $10.5 Million
- The Eagle – $9.7 Million
- The Roommate – $6.5 Million
Sunday is for pre-lovers. More then.