How is it that a movie that centers on a 13 year old boy having sex with his teacher can be made into a comedy? Yes, there are 13 year old boys that fantasize about having a relationship with that “hot” teacher they had in middle/high school, but in this society it’s called statutory rape. And the idea of making a movie about such a relationship, and one that results in the birth of a child into an Adam Sandler comedy movie should make you cringe. But what should make you cringe even more is that it can actually be funny in some aspects.
Directed by Sean Anders, the story centers on Donny (Adam Sandler). While he is still in his young teens, Donny has a relationship with his teacher Mary McGarricle (Eva Amurri Martino, and in later years Susan Sarandon). The relationship seems purely sexual as the two of them seem to have sex as much as they can and as often as they can. When caught, Mary is sentenced to 30 years in jail, even though she is pregnant. The custody of their unborn child will go to Donny once he turns 18. And Donny raises his son as a single father until his son Todd (Andy Sanberg) turned 18.
It seems as though once Todd turned 18, he disappeared from Donny’s life and reinvented himself. Donny on the other hand is still the childish drunk that he’s always been and now he’s in trouble with the IRS and is set to go to jail for 3 years unless he can come up with $40,000. He learns that his son is getting married to a woman named Jamie (Leighton Meester) this weekend and works out a deal with a sleazy television host to film a reunion between him, his son, and his son’s mother at her jail. So, he unexpectedly shows up in Todd’s life and desperately tries to reconnect with his son.
It seems as though Adam Sandler has lost a bit of his creativity as of late. With last year’s dud, and this year’s film it’s not looking too good for Sandler.
There are parts of this film that will make you laugh. Some will even make you laugh pretty hard. But what’s sad about this film is that you’ll find yourself hating yourself every time you find yourself laughing at this film. It’s because of the film’s poor taste in the subject matter. On top of statutory rape there are even worse subjects that are explored on film in this movie. It’s gross, uncalled for, and simply not funny.
I like Leighton Meester as an actress. But for reasons I won’t say in this review, I found myself greatly disgusted by her choice of roles in this character. The movie may have some comedy, but there are lines that need to be drawn and followed at some points.
There’s no way this movie would have been made if the main character were a woman and she was 13 having sex with her much older male teacher. So why it’s acceptable that a young boy can do so on screen is deeply disturbing in this day and age. You may laugh, but keep in mind it’s deeply disturbing that we’re all laughing in the first place.
FINAL GRADE: D
Reel Film News Movie Review by Bill Ayres