What’s one tell-tale sign that you’re watching an Adam Sandler movie, whether it’s one he stars in or simply produces? Nick Swardson, the Memphis Bleek to the Sandman’s Jay-Z, is there on the screen, playing a completely obnoxious character in a terribly unfunny and grating way. Or perhaps there’s the one-two combo of lesser-known Allen Covert and Peter Dante, whose faces regularly pop up in Sandler movies to marginal laughter, save for their effectiveness in the underrated Big Daddy.
And we haven’t mentioned the countless other C-level actors whom Sandler routinely casts in his movies. He’s without a doubt Hollywood’s most generous superstar, allowing his buddies to effortlessly benefit off of his own fame and glory, but it’s to his own detriment, frankly.
Unlike Judd Apatow’s crew of go-to performers (Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen, Jason Segel, Jay Baruchel, etc.), Sandler’s entourage drags his movies down, especially Rob “I’ll embarrass any ethnic group with hideously stereotypical characters” Schneider. As bad as it’d be for their careers, Sandler needs to audition several new actually-funny comedians to become his next generation of collaborators.
Could the likes of Swardson and Covert survive on their own? At best, we’d get another Grandma’s Boy; worst case scenario, though, is more awfulness in line with last year’s Bucky Larson: Born to be a Star.