Yes… the question of Adam Sandler‘s legacy as an actor is once again upon us.
You have probably been scrolling through social media lately and see articles claiming Adam Sandler is not only; in a good movie, but also he’s great in it. So I am a thirty-three year old man, it’s basically assured as boat shoes at a Vampire Weekend concert that I have been a fan of Sandler during one arc of my life. When I was a kid, he was the SNL standout bound for glory, and when he broke, Sandler hit a fame wave like I never saw before. He made movies, classics of comedy too (Bulletproof is his under rated masterpiece), he made albums with songs we heard on the radio, quotes from his movies were on repeat at the lunch table, you imitated him, you in some weird way identified with him, he made bafoonery cool, he had this undeniable appeal and the sky was the limit. When I put things into perspective, Sandler rode a hot streak for the better part of my existence but in recent years his films have not been what they used to be.
And here’s where it gets interesting; Sandler is basically full proof, delivering on the box office dollars ten fold. However, critical acclaim is hard to find. You know exactly what I’m talking about. When was the last time you enjoyed an Adam Sandler movie? Or when was the last time you even enjoyed Adam Sandler? I was at the point where I hear his name and I immediately question the return on investment of my time. Yeah… it’s like that.
What I don’t advertise, especially around my more film inclined friends is I’m secretly hoping for Adam Sandler to make a comeback. He never really went anywhere so it’s not a comeback in your typical context. More of a comeback to relevance, or legitimacy. You just want the Sandler you grew up with. Or, if you’re like me, you want him to go the Bill Murray route, work with elite and upcoming directors, play quirky eccentric characters too captivating to fly on the Hollywood radar. The dude has got all the money in the world so why the hell not? I’m not in a position to question Sandler’s motivations but if we ever get to a Grown Ups 5: All Grown Up the future of the film industry is beyond saving.
Photo Credit- Netflix
Which brings us to The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected), Sandler’s next release under his current Netflix contract. Even though I like Noah Baumbach and just about every member of the cast, this movie ceased to garner to my attention. Primarily due to the god awful messes known as The Ridiculous 6 and Sandy Wexler. Though the later indicated some, you might need a microscope to find them, signs of hope. When it comes to the Meyerowitz Stories as a film, Baumbach proves he defines the whole indie-family-dramady genre. I didn’t want to get into the Meyerowitz Stories too much, there’s great character development, a phenomenal cast, humor, a solid plot, I recommend it. Just be prepared for a style of cinema that lies on the opposite side of the spectrum of Sandler’s other Netflix releases.
Check out the trailer below!!
And that’s a good thing! Is his performance Oscar worthy? Some may say so yet I believe that’s being really generous. As much of a compliment as he is to the Meyerowitz Stories, his performance is rather safe and allows Sandler to rely on signatures shticks like over the top displays of aggression. Only it works this time. It doesn’t feel forced for humor. Meyerowitz should hopefully represent a turning point in Sandler’s career.
Now he can go one of two ways. Back to what he has been doing (nobody wants that) or start working with established auteurs and screenwriters who are known for critical acclaim. Let’s just say he wakes up one morning, realizing after all this time, the guy in Funny People was actually him, and a moment of self actualization occurs. I’m assuming something along those lines must have happened. I’m a person who believes if you’re in the entertainment industry, and you’ve made your fortune, you should be pushing for groundbreaking roles, leaving the best legacy you can. Remember those rumors of Sandler’s involvement in Inglorious Bastards? How cool would it have been to see him killing Nazi’s? That’s the kind of stuff audiences would line up around the block for. Not a two word titled feature presentation reflecting an over played persona from the pile of stuff that couldn’t make the What The Hell Happened To Me album.
Photo Credit- Netflix
Some of us want Happy Gilmore again, some of us just want a decent movie, some of us want Adam Sandler to retire. Only Adam Sandler can decide what’s next. Has he learned? Is this a new Sandler? Is he sort of cool again? I’d say yes, but don’t think we won’t be watching his follow up to Meyerowitz with cautious eyes.
By Adam Chmielewski
You think Adam Sandler is cool again? You think he’s primed for a comeback? Let Nerdbot know in the comments!!