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That's My Boy Review

Updated on June 23, 2020

That's My Boy (2012) review

This is not a perfect comedy by any means, but I feel it might be Adam Sandler’s most underrated film. The script had its issues for sure, but there were enough laughs and surprises throughout this movie to make it stand out as one of the better comedies by Sandler’s production company, Happy Madison productions. I may be in the minority on this opinion, based on other critics' reviews and the fact that this movie lost quite a bit of money at the box office. It made 57 million against a 70 million dollar budget (ouch). There were accusations of this film having homophobic and misogynistic writing. I for one enjoyed this movie and found it both entertaining and hilarious, and I feel that maybe people are becoming too sensitive and too easily offended.

That’s My Boy (2012) was written by David Caspe and directed by Sean Anders. It stars Adam Sandler and Andy Samberg. In 1984, a boy named Donny (Sandler) has a crush on one of his teachers. They start having a sexual relationship and eventually get caught. The teacher gets sentenced to 30 years in prison, and is pregnant at her sentencing. The baby was sent to be raised by Donny’s dad until Donny turned 18, when he would get sole custody. 30 years later we learn that Donny was a horrible father to his son, who he named Han Solo (Samberg). He left home at 18 and cut off his relationship with his dad, telling everyone he died. Now Donny is in a financial crisis and the only way to fix it is to reunite with his son on the weekend he is supposed to be married.

The script for this movie had some dialog throughout that was supposed to be funny but missed the mark completely. You could see the humor that Sandler is famous for is present here, but starting to head downhill a bit. The movie was far more derogatory than it needed to be and some of the scenes were just plain stupid. That being said, there were enough things to like about this movie to make it one of Sandler’s top 5 for me. The premise was ridiculous and also a bit genius, and I feel it was strong enough to carry this movie. Sandler and Samberg both did great jobs, but it was more of the same old thing from Sandler. He did have some heartfelt moments, but nothing that stood out as something we haven’t seen before from him. Samberg, on the other hand, actually gave a very impressive dramatic performance in my opinion. He had the largest range of emotions amongst the main characters and he was very talented at displaying those emotions.

This movie was all around ‘wicked’ funny and I would recommend it to anyone who can take a joke and is not easily offended.

Cast trivia

  • Adam Sandler is 12 years older than Andy Samberg.
  • Susan Sarandon also played Andy Samberg's mother in multiple skits written for SNL by The Lonely Island (of which Samberg is a member).
  • Susan Sarandon also played a teacher who had a relationship with an underage student on the series 30 Rock (2006).
  • Rex Ryan cameos as a Patriots fan. In real life, he is the former head coach of the New York Jets and of the Buffalo Bills. Both the Jets and the Bills are divisional rivals of the New England Patriots.
  • Jackie Sandler, Adam's real life wife, cameos as a masseuse that Donny hits on.
  • Sandlers kids, Sadie and Sunny, cameo as lemonade stand girls.
  • Eva Amurri Martino, the young Mary McGarricle, is Susan Sarandon's daughter in real life.
  • Dante and Father Shakulu are the same characters from Grandmas Boy (2006).

Production trivia

  • The budget for this film was 70 million dollars, and the worldwide gross is 57.7 million dollars.
  • This film was released on June 15, 2012 and was produced and distributed by Columbia Pictures.
  • This movie was filmed in Massachusetts and California.
  • This was one of the rare Adam Sandler movies not to make back its budget. It had the worst opening weekend gross for an Adam Sandler film, after Reign Over Me.
  • The film's original title was "I Hate You Dad". That was later changed to "Donny's Boy" before settling on its present title.
  • The screenplay for this film was featured in the 2009 Blacklist; a list of the "most liked" unmade scripts of the year.
  • The film was originally rated NC-17 by the MPAA due to its explicit sexual content, making this Sandler's only attempt at an NC-17 rated film. The film was later re-rated R on appeal.
  • When Andy Samberg got married, he invited Adam Sandler to the wedding. Sandler showed up as his character in this movie, outfit and all.


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