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Big Daddy (1999)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama | 25 June 1999 (USA)
2:25 | Trailer

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A lazy law school grad adopts a kid to impress his girlfriend, but everything doesn't go as planned and he becomes the unlikely foster father.



(story), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
1,958 ( 137)
8 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:


Sonny Koufax is 32 years old. He's a law school graduate. He's got a nice apartment in Manhattan. There's just one problem. He does nothing, except sit on his butt and live off an investment that was the result of a meager lawsuit he won a year ago. But after his fed up girlfriend leaves him, he comes up with the ingenious idea to adopt a five year old boy to showcase his newfound maturity. But things don't go as planned, and Sonny finds himself the unlikely foster father that will change his perspective on just looking out for himself. Written by MonkeyKingMA

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Natureza chamado. Olha quem respondeu. (Nature called. Look who answered.) (Brazil DVD) See more »


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for language and some crude humor | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

25 June 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Guy Gets Kid  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$34,200,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$41,536,370 (USA) (25 June 1999)


$163,479,795 (USA) (29 October 1999)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Adam Sandler Trademark: Cameo of Steve Buscemi. See more »


When Sonny is pouring milk into the lotion bottle for Julian to put it on his cereal, the bowl is heaping with cereal but in the next shot, it is level. See more »


[at McDonald's]
Sonny: Okay, what do you want?
Julian: Cheerios.
Sonny: Cheerios? They don't got Cheerios. What else?
Julian: Lasagna.
Sonny: Lasagna? What the hell is the matter with you? Um, we'll take hot cakes and sausage...
Employee: Sorry, sir, we stopped serving breakfast.
Sonny: What are you talking about? We're FOUR seconds late.
Employee: No, you're 30 minutes and four seconds late. We stopped serving breakfast at 10:30.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Note to Cozy's: Adam also likes your hamburgers See more »


Fooled Around and Fell in Love
Written and Performed by Elvin Bishop
Courtesy of Polydor Records
Under license from Universal Music Special Markets
See more »

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User Reviews

generally likable comedy
18 August 1999 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

It's hard not to like "Big Daddy", though diehard fans of Adam Sandler may well cringe at this further step in the sentimentalization of the comic actor. For although this film has raised the hackles of a number of overly sensitive worrywarts for its seeming endorsement of permissive parenting, the film is, in reality, far more soft-hearted than hard-edged. Actually, this seems to be, probably, the wisest direction for Sandler to go in at the moment because, as an actor, he conveys an aura of genuine likability that fits well with his Average Joe persona. "Big Daddy" might have been a better film if it had not given in so easily to sentimentality and predictable emotional uplift, but Sandler's deadpan portrayal of an immature adult forced to grow up into responsibility-laden fatherhood makes the film relatively enjoyable.

Sandler portrays a 30-something loser living in South Manhattan, who has been milking a minor foot injury to the tune of a $200,000 court settlement and whose life, consequently, consists of miniscule employment, a general lack of direction, and a girlfriend who's ready to move on to an older man with a "5-year plan". When a little boy suddenly shows up on his doorstep (the hitherto unknown son of a friend of his), Sandler decides to temporarily take him under his wing in the hopes of winning his girlfriend back. Thus, a man with almost no resources of adult maturity attempts to instill skewed life lessons into a willing, highly impressionable young mind. This leads to Sandler's teaching the boy to indulge in predictable, but surprisingly timid, antisocial behavior such as urinating on public buildings, staying up late, tripping unsuspecting rollerbladers etc. The film is not always at its peak of creative freshness at such times, but Sandler's lowkey cynicism provides some humor.

As Sandler grows to care for his tot and the inevitable forces array themselves against him to take the child away, the film veers off in the direction of sappiness and maudlin tearjerking. One may be moved at times, but one also craves the satirical sharpness and bite that a more courageous screenplay might have provided.

The movie does display an enlightened view of gays (though Hollywood has yet to get past the point where gay characters can do more than merely twinkle at each other), but it loses points for its rather nasty tone towards old people. Still, any film designed to send Dr. Laura into spasms of psychoanalytical outrage should be respected and honored.

Overall, "Big Daddy" is a movie that, if it had taken more audacious pathways, might have been a firstrate comedy. As it is, it provides numerous chuckles and a cuddly warm feeling - and that, given the state of much of big screen comedy these days, is about all we dare allow ourselves to expect.

45 of 56 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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