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47 out of 59 people found the following review useful:

generally likable comedy

7/10
Author: Roland E. Zwick (magneteach@aol.com) from United States
18 August 1999



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.

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57 out of 80 people found the following review useful:

Underrated.

10/10
Author: watermelonpip from United Kingdom
10 December 2005

I watched this film a lot when I was younger, I laughed my arse off. Then I lost the video, and I discovered it when it fell on my head about a week ago. It hurt, but the film was worth it. I laughed again, I nearly cried when Julian got took away, and it brought back a lot of memories. I don't normally like Adam Sandler, but this is one of my favourite films. Its underrated, mostly by adults, as soon as I put it on, my Nana took one look at Adam Sandler and went home. She said he "Over-acted and wasn't funny." I know a lot of other people who think this movie is a big pile of crap, but they have no sense of humour. I would recommend this to anyone who likes to laugh..

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29 out of 41 people found the following review useful:

Adam Sandler in top form!

7/10
Author: Patrick Brogan from Glendale, Arizona, U.S.A.
25 June 1999

While all of the somphoric pre-teens will be giggling silly at the childish potty jokes shown in AUSTIN POWERS 2, the real adults will be laughing their heads off in a much funnier film called BIG DADDY. This is Sandler's sixth starring role feature, and it seems that the sixth time is a splending charm. This is Sandler's best work yet! Now in case you are wondering, I enjoyed both HAPPY GILMORE, and THE WEDDING SINGER. But there's something charming and wonderful on why I enjoyed BIG DADDY more. Perhaps it's seeing a over-grown kid taking care of a little boy. Or it's Sandler mixing his in your face attitude that he gave in HAPPY GILMORE with his soft-spot attiude from THE WEDDING SINGER. Whatever it is, it works, and it works very well! The simple plot of BIG DADDY is a 5 year old child is left on the doorstep of Sandler's apartment. It turns out to be the child of his roommate (Jon Stewart), who's on his way to China for a legal case. So what is Sandler to do, but to give him to the child protective service. But it's a holiday, and they are closed, so Sandler keeps him for a day, then another day, and... well you get the picture. But the plot doesn't matter much with this film, it's the laughs, and you do get plenty of those. But you also get a wonderful supporting cast. There's a good support from Jon Stewart, the always wonderful and beautiful Joey Lauren Adams, Leslie Mann, and Kristy Swanson (the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer). And what's a Sandler movie like if you don't have his usual character actor friends in small comic roles; Rob Schrieder, Steve Buscemi, Josh Mostel, Allen Covert (the caddy from HAPPY GILMORE who was also the limo driver friend in THE WEDDING SINGER), and Jonathan Loughran (the lazy-eyed football player in THE WATERBOY). There's even a funny cameo role by director Dennis Dugan, as the man who refuses to answer the door on Halloween, while Sandler is taking his adopted son trick or treating. This film was a lot more funnier that THE WATERBOY, it was also funnier than THE WEDDING SINGER and HAPPY GILMORE. It was believe it or not, more touching. You can understand why Sandler doesn't want to let this boy go, since he reminds him so much of himself. And Sandler sees that being a father figure isn't only fun, but it redeems himself from the lost of his girlfriend. I have to give both Sandler and director Dennis Dugan (the same director of HAPPY GILMORE) a round of applause. They teamed up for a comedy that is not only successful, but will make A LOT of money. Sandler and Dugan are the best comedian/director team since the late John Belushi and John Landis. I'm just hoping that they will continue to do films together in the futrue. Until then, take your date, your friends, or heck just go alone and enjoy one of the funniest comedies (next to ANALYZE THIS, ELECTION, and RUSHMORE) of this year. This is a wonderful treat! ****1/2 (out of five)

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23 out of 36 people found the following review useful:

Adam Sandler vehicle - nuff said

6/10
Author: Shiva-11 from Vancouver, BC
15 June 1999

Big Daddy- Sonny Koufax (Adam Sandler) is the irresponsible guy - he has no manners, and no clue. Although Sonny has somehow managed to get a girlfriend, she is tired of his aimless ways, and gives him an ultimatum - do something with your life or I leave. Fate steps in with a ready-made 'solution': Sonny will raise the little boy who was dropped off at the apartment with a note proclaiming his roommate (Jon Stewart) the father, his girlfriend will realize his newfound responsibility, and all will be well. Plausibility this movie doesn't have. But we are talking about Adam Sandler, the man who has given us such brainteasers as Happy Gilmore, and Billy Madison. Sandler's frat-boy humor - childish and, scatological - has however, drawn a huge following as evidenced by The Waterboy's huge box office, (a movie that I myself enjoyed and will surely be pilloried for). I expected one thing from this movie - a good laugh. And it delivered. The obligatory tearjerker scenes were painful, but thankfully few and far between. If you are in the mood for some humor-light on cheap Tuesday, give this movie a chance.

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19 out of 29 people found the following review useful:

Sandler's funniest!

8/10
Author: Dan Grant (dan.grant@bell.ca) from Toronto, Ontario
28 June 1999

Some movies are made for us to ponder questions of morality and ethics. Some are made for us to question reality. Some are made for us to find ourselves.

This movie is not one of them.

This movie was made for one reason and that is to make us laugh. And it does that very well.

Sandler plays an incredibly irresponsible derelict that has no real job or ambition in life. He gets a kid left on is doorstep and he is forced to care for him. The story needn't be described any more than that, we all know what happens. But it is what this movie does to our senses that makes it worth while. In short, it makes us laugh hysterically. This film is a whirlwind of jokes and hilarity and when it stops to let you catch your breath it still entertains you. I admire films like this. They aren't meant to be Instinct or The Siege ( two films that I absolutely love ) but all it aspires to do is entertain you; take you away from life for 90 minutes. And let's face it. Sitting in a cool theater with a bag of M&M's, a cold Coke and a funny movie is a perfect way to spend a lazy summer afternoon.

This is a great movie and it will make you laugh. That's all it is, nothing more, nothing less. And we should be thankful for that.

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13 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

Formula, silly, and actually funny!

6/10
Author: Shiva-11 from Vancouver, BC
18 June 1999

Big Daddy- Sonny Koufax (Adam Sandler) is the paragon of irresponsibility - he has no job, no manners, and no clue. Although Sonny has somehow managed to get a girlfriend, she is tired of his aimless ways, and gives him an ultimatum - do something with your life or I leave. Fate steps in with a ready-made 'solution': Sonny will raise the little boy who was dropped off at the apartment with a note proclaiming his roommate (Jon Stewart) the father, his girlfriend will realize his newfound responsibility, and all will be well.

Plausibility this movie doesn't have. But we are talking about Adam Sandler, the man who has given us such brainteasers as Happy Gilmore, and Billy Madison. Sandler's frat-boy humor - childish and, scatalogical - has however, drawn a huge following as evidenced by The Waterboy's huge box office, (a movie that I myself enjoyed and will surely be pilloried for).

I expected one thing from this movie - a good laugh. And it delivered. The obligatory tearjerker scenes were painful, but thankfully few and far between. If you are in the mood for some humor-light on cheap Tuesday, give this movie a chance.

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11 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Funny and surprisingly touching.

8/10
Author: Brad K. from Wisconsin
5 July 1999

Adam Sandler (The Waterboy, The Wedding Singer) has pulled off another hit with Big Daddy. Sandler stars as a lazy law-school graduate who won't take the bar exam. One day when his roommate goes on a business trip to China a child arrives at the day with a note claiming to be his roommate's son. Sandler takes the kid for a day and after having a good time decides to keep him to impress his girlfriend who doesn't think he's trying to grow up. His girlfriend dumps him and he's stuck with the kid. Not surprisingly Sandler isn't a good father, but soon he bonds with the kid and he learns how to be a good father. This might sound like a cheesy feel-good film, but with Sandler the humor is kind of low-brow, but often hilarious. The film does also offer a few touching scenes between Sandler and the kid. Sandler's performance was very funny, but reminded me a little of Jim Carrey's performance in Liar Liar. Liar Liar if you have seen it was a regular Carrey comedy, but offered a couple of serious scenes which Carrey pulled off well. Carrey then went on to do The Truman Show and win a Golden Globe. Sandler also has a couple of serious scenes which he nails well. I'm not suggesting that Sandler is going to become a great actor (like Carrey seems headed for) but he may have the skill to do it if he wants. Leslie Mann (George of the Jungle, The Cable Guy) and Joey Lauren Adams (Chasing Amy, A Cool Dry Place) are both good as sisters. Jon Stewart (The Faculty, Playing by Heart) is solid as Sandler's roommate. Twins Cole and Dylan Sprouse are convincing as the kid. Finally, two favorites of mine have very funny supporting roles. Steve Buscemi (Reservoir Dogs, Armageddon) is good as a homeless friend of Sandler's. And Rob Schneider (Judge Dredd, Knock Off) is hilarious as an immigrant delivery man who is good friends with Sandler. Highly Recommended.

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13 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

A rather funny movie featuring Sandler.

7/10
Author: Aaron1375
17 July 2007

I am not a Sandler fan in the least, in fact for the most part I do not enjoy his movies. Still, this one was a rather funny little comedy even if it did have a rather unbelievable premise. Guy loses girl, guy tries to get girl back by taking in a kid who may or may not be a friend of his kid. So aside from that you have your funny scenes of Adam trying to raise a small boy to the best of his ability while also getting the attention of a new female in his life. Granted some of the jokes were just lame such as Sandler dressing up as the boy's favorite toy, but for the most part the jokes were hits. It did tend to get a bit sentimental towards the end, but not as bad as other movies of this type tend to get. Jon Stewart is in this one as is Sandler buddies Rob Snider. Steve Bushemi is also in it, but his appearance in the movie is rather stupid. So for a rather good comedy that isn't really great, but not unbearable like many Sandler comedies can get try this one on for size.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

I actually enjoyed it more than I thought I would

6/10
Author: jimbo-53-186511 from United Kingdom
9 December 2015

Sonny Koufax (Adam Sandler) is an unemployed layabout who claims that he is unable to work due to an accident he had involving a cab from 2 years ago. Sonny is a self-absorbed individual who generally thinks of no-one but himself much to the annoyance of his girlfriend. However, when a 5 year old boy named Julian (Cole Sprouse) ends up on his doorstep, Sonny claims to have adopted Julian in order to try and win back his girlfriend and prove himself worthy of her affections. Whilst Julian is in Sonny's care, Sonny does some growing up himself in the midst of some rather questionable antics as a caretaker parent.

The marketing for this film was always questionable; the film poster shows Sandler and the boy standing in front of a door and urinating against it. In this respect it does itself no real favours as there may be many people that decide not to watch it because it looks like it's going to be crude and juvenile from the poster. In fairness this isn't completely inaccurate as there are some aspects of the film that are a bit juvenile and crude, but the actual bulk of the film is quite charming and sweet and fairly enjoyable and I'm just puzzled as to why a fairly sweet-natured film was marketed so poorly. Anyway I digress...

Sandler's comedy films have sometimes proved problematic because some of the characters he has portrayed have been unlikeable or unsympathetic. In Big Daddy though, as things progress it becomes fairly obvious that Sonny's actually an OK person that just needed a bit of a kick up the backside. Looking after Julian gave Sonny a purpose in life and as mentioned it gave him the kick up the backside that he'd needed for the last 2 years. The chemistry between Julian and Sonny was also really good and the two of them share both funny moments and tender moments - I thought that Sonny telling Julian that wearing sunglasses meant nobody could see him was a funny idea and quite sweet as well.

There are some weaknesses to this film; firstly a lot of the acting here is rather mediocre (although Steve Buscemi was good fun in the limited screen time that he was given). The film was also a little too light on laughs for my liking - although the warmth and charm of the picture compensate slightly for the slight lack of humour. The film also gets very soppy towards the end and I also found some of the character shifts to be a bit dubious. The script offers few surprises and is fairly predictable, but I always say it doesn't matter if you know outcome B at point A as long as you generally enjoy everything in between and that pretty much sums up my feelings about this film. It's hardly Oscar-worthy, but it has some funny moments, it has some charm, and it surprised me by being better than I expected it to be.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

OK people, lets not get too carried away with this one

1/10
Author: giuliano-3 from san diego
14 August 2000

"Big Daddy" is a diluted, sappy, and truly dumb film. The only redeeming quality of this picture is, well, the little kids that played Julian were pretty good. Everything is sooooo sweet in this movie that if you don't cry your some kind of insensitive jerk. At least that's what the score makes you feel like. With more fluff than your dryer's lint screen and more intended tear jerking scenes than your average Lindsay Wagner TV movie special, this film dilutes Sandler's humor. Many people who have commented on "Big Daddy" to this point say that it is the best Sandler film while "Happy Gilmour" and "Billy Madison" were just plain stupid. Look, Gilmour and Madison weren't supposed to be nice comedies for nice people. I enjoyed those two films infinitely more than Big Daddy, so maybe I'm void of feeling or something. Moreover, if those aforementioned Sandler films are "dumb" this one is just plain offensive. The court room scene is THE dumbest, most unrealistic, downright awful court scene ever. If you've seen it you know what I mean. I was able to stomach the film until then, I remember saying to myself "maybe they're trying to make a commentary on the sad state of affairs for foster children," but nope - not even close. The only way to describe the courtroom proceedings is surreal. If Dali had been a filmmaker he couldn't have outdone the downright absurd quality of it. This movie sucked, and if you thought so too you must also be an insensitive jerk. The "touching" parts of the film were SAPPY and PHONY, Jon Stewart should be banned from acting in feature length motion pictures (as much as I like him on the small screen). He always picks dumb roles for himself - in his touching scene at the end of "Big Daddy" its painfully obvious just how bad he is conveying emotion. I guess I just can't say enough bad things about this movie, so I'll add that Joey Lauren Adams (who is sexy and intriguing in all other films I've seen her in) is dumpy and wasted on this Sandler vehicle. When she cries (endlessly) throughout it makes you wish she'd just go away and leave us (the audience) alone. All in all I hated this movie and would recommend it to all nincompoops who like to snivel and blow their nose during boring, boorish, idiotic, falsely emotional films...

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