Big Daddy best represents Adam Sandler’s late 90’s transition from good to bad. I haven’t seen The Waterboy, but I know Big Daddy was a little better. Sandler gets it somewhere down the middle with several crude jokes balanced by a heartfelt story. The comedian’s appeal got so big that Big Daddy became his highest grossing film at the time. Sonny Koufax is a man child with a law degree who becomes responsible for a 5 year old child that shows up on his front door.
I mostly wanted to see Big Daddy because it features the cinematic debut of longtime twin actors Dylan and Cole Sprouse. They both play Julian, but I can’t tell the difference. Even though Sonny teaches Julian to swear, commit felonies, and pee anywhere he wants, their relationship is genuinely cute. Product placement is usually pretty obnoxious in his movies, but the scene where Sonny gets Julian a Happy Meal is hilarious. Steve Buscemi is also pretty funny as a homeless man who wants a Sausage McMuffin.
There’s also a lot of talk about Hooters since Leslie Mann plays a former employee. Rob Schneider plays his usual foreign stereotype, but he’s not too bad in this movie. Although Sonny could have someone like Kristy Swanson, he falls for Joey Lauren Adams playing an accomplished lawyer. Jon Stewart plays Julian’s biological father who shows up for the sentimental finale. Big Daddy is an unconventional father-son comedy that makes responsible choices for the sake of the children.