And Now a Reasonable Look at Upcoming Movies Part 2: Jack and Jill
Stuff like this kills me.
I used to love Adam Sandler. Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore, and Waterboy brought me so much joy when I was first discovering my sense of humor. They still do.
After that it was a crap shoot, and while I gleaned some enjoyment from things Sandler was involved with, nothing he hit me the way those first three movies did.
Not a total crap shoot, I suppose; the serious dramatic stuff, particularly Punch-Drunk Love, showed that under the clown was depth. He proved he can act really, really, really well when he wants to act.
Then he went right back to doing easy stuff.
Not that those three previously mentioned movies are high art, or revealed vast, heretofore unknown swaths of comedic landscape, but each one, especially the first two, felt like characters or sides of Sandler’s personality that had to be let out. They had to be exorcized. They were something: gestures, a turn of phrase, a dance, a dumb voice, etc. Things that Sandler carried with him over the years, trying to find the right ways to use them then suddenly finding himself with carte blanche to just be fucking weird and abrasive and get it out of his system. There was a coarse honesty to those movies.
But, then what was left?
This is the slope from which almost no one comes back:
- playing multiple characters in the same movie
- and this one is for Pacino, but: playing a heightened/exaggerated version of yourself is no longer a sign of self-awareness, just that you’ve maybe seen Extras, but definitely Entourage, which, I mean…great? I guess?
- the wacky character gets to make all the awesome jokes, but the character closest to the actual actor’s persona gets to explain the jokes to everybody
- everybody is the audience
- we already get it
- mugging at the camera when things regular people would call the fucking police for occur
Let’s get one thing straight, only Peter Sellers really, truly pulled off the multiple characters in one movie thing, and he had Stanley Kubrick backing him up for the biggest one.
I invoke the name of St. Peter, because he was a comedian who started out as one of the funniest men performing at his time, who hungered to be taken seriously, both as a creative person who happened to be funny, but also as a serious actor. He too was given free reign to do what he wanted, and sometimes it worked, and sometimes it got away from him. Personally, thanks to hindsight, I think Sellers pulled it off.
However, I’ve not seen every single Peter Sellers movie, just the big ones, good and bad. So maybe history and legacy is a funny thing, and Sandler will only be remembered for his SNL stuff, his early comedies, and dramas.
Right now, though, watching that trailer, we have to ask is Sandler just not hungry? Did he run out of ideas? Are they two sides of the same coin?
I wish I had jokes. I wish I did.
Maybe if I had written this four or five movies ago, I’d have jokes. Perhaps, I could find a new way to come at the already beaten to death joke that goes along the lines of, “hasn’t Adam Sandler seen Funny People?”
It just sucks, is all.
One last thing before I trudge off to be poor, bitter, and not get paid to be creative, what in the hell is taped to that little Indian kid’s forehead at the end of the trailer?
It’s a pepper shaker or a dildo. Those are my bets.