Perhaps it's just that the pier of my soul has been battered, weakened, and left dispirited by decades of getting pummeled by the waves of the Happy Madison films. Or maybe I am officially old and waxing nostalgic for what's "from my day." More than likely, it's that when Adam Sandler hires a solid team (director Sean Anders of Sex Drive and writer David Caspe of Happy Endings) to make yet another film about a weirdo-badass-with-a-heart-of-gold, it makes me laugh like I did the first time I saw Billy Madison. Now, someone could say the words Just Go with It and Jack and Jill to me and I won't try to punch their lights out.
The reason my eyes almost broke from rolling so much while watching Sandler's last two pictures is that I don't want to be subjected to seeing him as a relatively cool, super-rich guy with a hot wife/girlfriend. Thankfully, this time he's back to his old tricks as Donny, who as a skinny, dumb, acid-washed jean-wearing teenager, managed to score with his ridiculously hot teacher Mrs. McGarricle (Eva Amurri Martino). In the adolescent fantasy world of Happy Madison productions, he becomes a superstar with his own Made for TV movie…and their love child son to raise, which he names Han Solo Berger (Andy Samberg).
Years after turning 18 and high-tailing it out of there, Han Solo has changed his name to Todd and is getting married to Jamie (Leighton Meester). It's the big weekend of their wedding at his rich bosses' home, so all of the quirky characters necessary to make this crazy are there--Jamie's brother the Marine (Milo Ventimiglia), the sassy grandma (Peggy Stewart), and the ex-boxer priest (James Caan), just to name a few. Donny sniffs out the wedding and quickly proves how much cooler he is than Todd, pulling beers out of every conceivable hiding place and making a patchwork quilt robe look really, really good. He knows Vanilla Ice (played expertly by Vanilla Ice) too. And they have a special hand shake.
The conceit that you never really see how cool your parents are until you're older keeps getting more and more exaggerated, and that's why the movie is so funny and relatable. By the time the guys head out for Todd's bachelor party, I was almost worried over how much I was enjoying this experience. It was like the joy of The Wedding Singer and Happy Gilmore combined with yet another great wig sitting there like a cherry on top of a gorgeous sundae. Of course, it's no Punch Drunk Love, but you gotta pay the bills somehow. I get it.