Coming up with the Top 10 Movies of Adam Sandler is one difficult task. It’s like Roger Maris and his home run record-breaking moment… perhaps there should be an asterisk attached to Movie Fanatic’s latest Top 10 as a qualifier. Most Sandler movies are honestly not that great as films go, but it is hard to argue with the comic actor’s success. He is the only bankable comedian for international audiences and his box office totals domestically are equally impressive. So, in honor of the fans that have made some of Sandler’s movies blockbusters and his return to the screen with That's My Boy, we present his ten best.
10. The Waterboy
What’s not to love about Sandler’s variation on his Cajun Man SNL persona with the story of a lowly waterboy who finds his inner football star and takes his university’s team to new heights? Sandler’s knack for hiring older actors we love is present with the casting of Henry Winkler while having Kathy Bates play the mother of The Waterboy is pure genius.
Sandler got to show his dramatic muscles in this drama-comedy that was, in many ways, a sad story. The actor showed he can be, with the right script and part, a romantic lead. It’s not earth-shattering, but Spanglish is a nice out-of-the-box turn for one of our favorite SNL vets.
8. Mr. Deeds
The comic chemistry between Winona Ryder and Sandler alone would put Mr. Deeds on this list. Based loosely on the 1936 film Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, Sandler’s version allowed him to channel his inner New England accent (that has since become a staple). If anyone had ever said that Sandler would step into Gary Cooper’s shoes, you’d say they were insane. But, that is exactly what the actor did by updating Cooper’s 1930s hit.
7. Big Daddy
The seeds for That’s My Boy had to be laid in Big Daddy. The premise of a man-child becoming responsible for a young boy, Sandler first explored in 1999 with a whole lot of heart. The film also featured Jon Stewart in what would be one of his last film roles. His acting shortcomings are our benefit as now we have The Daily Show!
6. 50 First Dates
Drew Barrymore teamed with Sandler again after first appearing together in The Wedding Singer. In 50 First Dates, he straddled the line between his version of romance and slapstick comedy effectively. His chemistry with Barrymore is spot-on and we cannot wait for the two to reunite in the future. Sandler showed his sensitive side in the Hawaiian-set film and proved he can not only be an immature hero, but also possess the solid stature of an adult with a whole lot of heart.
5. Just Go With It
Sandler again headed to Hawaii for Just Go With It and had his most recent hit. This time out, he introduced the world to model turned actress Brooklyn Decker (now seen in Battleship) and brought Jennifer Aniston into his madcap world of Happy Madison productions. The premise is pure Sandler and unlike many of his films that have tried a similar formula, this time out, the execution worked.
4. Billy Madison
Sandler’s first film is still one of his best. His man-child screen persona was only beginning to take shape and what a vehicle for him to introduce that to the world! By portraying a man who discovers he needs to go back to grade school and complete all the grades up to high school graduation, the situational comedy potential was through the roof. The film also showed that the star will use old comedy friends in supporting roles heading into the future. He would single-handedly give careers to many, including Billy Madison co-star Norm MacDonald.
3. That’s My Boy
The SNL veteran’s latest is among his greatest. His first R-rated film in years allows Sandler to push the comic envelope on many levels. We don’t want to give away too much (our review premieres June 15), but the funny in this film reminds Movie Fanatic of Sandler’s stand-up and less of his forays into family films (Click anyone?).
2. The Wedding Singer
We can never sing the praises of The Wedding Singer too much. The film not only captured the heart of the 1980s, but captured audiences’ collective hearts in a surprisingly effective love story from the man most known for bodacious buffoonery. Again, his pairing with Barrymore is pure gold. They need to do another!
1. Happy Gilmore
The game of golf has always been ripe for comedy, i.e. Caddyshack, yet Happy Gilmore was pure Sandler and could never be confused for coming from any other source. His hockey player who finds the answer to his money needs by entering a golf tourney, set the standard for his fans as to what to expect from the SNL grad heading forward. Happy Gilmore quotes are still among the most popular in the comic’s history, none more popular than: “The price is wrong, Bob!”
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