Sunday, November 30, 2008

Adam Sandler -- Gimme More Barrymore!

Well, I hope I'm not putting the hex on Adam Sandler by talking about him next. I'd just gotten through blabbing about the pleasures of Vince Vaughn, only to actually go see Four Christmases and get a fairly grinchy feeling going about him. It's now two years in a row that Vince has wrecked Christmas movies, first with Fred Claus and now with this year's un-funny holiday drag. But hey, at least Jon Favreau looked fantastic in it! And I hope Adam fares better in his upcoming seemingly kid-friendly epic Bedtime Stories. But even if it turns out to be a turkey, I'll forgive Sandler more quickly than I forgive Vaughn, mainly because his track record is better, and, after all, he does know turkeys.

Just how much do I like Adam Sandler? Well, how's this -- I know all the lyrics to Lunch Lady Land. Not enough? Okay. I'm probably one of only three people in existence who actually liked Punch Drunk Love. I did. I liked it! A lot. And I'm not one of those people who encourage comedians to do "serious" work. Frankly, it mostly pisses me off when they do that. But I still liked that movie.

I know a lot of people really can't stand his humor. People with good taste, people whose funny bone I respect! And I can't even explain why I do laugh at his shenanigans. It's obvious humor, often stupid, but I guess what I like is that he's got this soft, cuddly appeal, and then, just below that is that explosive, juvenile temper, and then, beneath that is more cuddly appeal. I like that he's always casting Steve Buscemi and also Rob Schneider (He can do it!), not to mention all his other buddies, who even made their own damn film which made me giggle (Grandma's Boy).

Even better? He's got great taste in his love-interest co-stars. Joey Lauren Adams, Marisa Tomei, Winona Ryder, Drew Barrymore, and, again, Drew Barrymore.

It's hard for me to pick a favorite between those two flicks. They're both sneaky in their charm, even if they are obvious in their laughs. And Drew Barrymore is a romantic comedy darling. She's both beautiful and adorably cute with a talent for pratfalls along with her lispy innocence. In The Wedding Singer they successfully mine bad '80s fashion, Billy Idol, and youthful romance with a banterful elan. But in 50 First Dates, they get to frolick in the gorgeous Hawaiian setting while infusing the light comedy with some truly touching deep devotion in the romance.

It's still a silly comedy, and not quite classic screwball. But Sandler and Barrymore are a classic, enchanting pairing with absolutely mad chemistry. Something about them onscreen just clicks and connects and feels right as a couple. Not the steamiest couple ever, or the most dreamy, or even the most witty. But together, they do seem like the perfect fit, and a matchup made to last from the '80s to the '00s, (<--I pronounce that "the oughts" by the way) and from the east coast to the Pacific.


Ellen said...

I'm thinking of writing a new pop song, You're so vain, I bet you think this link is about you.

Yeah, I have to admit that I don't get Adam Sandler AT ALL. And while I used to insist his popularity was a symbol of the decline of Western Civilization, I'll now concede that it's generational. You're not the only very smart person I adore and respect who thinks he's funny.

Anyway, it's humbling to admit there are some things I just don't get ...


Alice said...

I'm hot and cold on Sandler, although I loved him best with his non-PC songs on SNL. Actually, I think a mutual favorite of ours favors him slightly (Elliott with his post-Idol look). Hope you had a nice Thanksgiving. And thanks for the plug for Jimmy Smits - a real tour de force turn for him! Hope you're right about the Emmy.