Henry Roth is a man afraid of commitment up until he meets the beautiful Lucy. They hit it off and Henry think he's finally found the girl of his dreams, until he discovers she has short-term memory loss and forgets him the next day.
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
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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