Granted Donny’s not actually anywhere close to endearing or convincing, but it sure helps that every character is nothing more than a broad cartoon that fills a standard Sandler movie archetype (right down to the sassy and sexually voracious elderly woman). All go along with whatever silliness Sandler’s script needs them to be dupes for, which includes buying yet another outrageous accent by Sandler (an over-the-top Boston one, in this case).

From start to finish, That’s My Boy is fueled by vulgarity. The profanity is non-stop, the sexual jokes and references are pervasive, nudity is frequent (even beyond the multiple strip club scenes), and occasional sexual encounters—from conventional to oral to solo—reach various levels of explicitness. There’s no actual comedy in any of this; it’s not funny in the purest sense. The humor is predicated on shock value alone, on what someone might inappropriately say or do and nothing else. While shock inevitably elicits a reaction (how can it not?), it’s always a cheap, easy, and ultimately empty one—which is exactly what this film is.

Sandler’s characters follow an arc that clearly mirrors his career: people let him get away with anything because, at the end of it all, they know his heart is in the right place. And it is, because the family moments are as cheesy as the comedy is raunchy. That combination is the immature fantasy of way too many adult males: Let me be as stupid and foolish and irresponsible as I want to be because I still mean well. I’m a good person who just wants everyone to be happy, even if I go about showing it in the most adolescent and destructive ways. That doesn’t work in real life but always does in Adam Sandler movies, and that’s probably why there’ll always be an audience for whatever puerilism Sandler churns out.

CAUTIONS:

  • Drugs/Alcohol Content: Near-constant alcohol consumption by Sandler’s Donny. It’s a running joke that he always has a beer to drink. A lot of actual consumption at parties and strip clubs, drunkenness, etc., all portrayed as fun. An extended no-holds-barred bachelor party sequence with multiple people getting wasted. Smoking from a bong occurs in a few scenes by several people. Cocaine use is portrayed in one scene, comedically.
  • Language/Profanity: A specific citation of every one would be longer than the review. Suffice it to say the profanity is constant, in every conversation and scene, and uses all forms, variations and combinations (the f-word especially), including regular use of sexual slang, explicit sexual references, and detailed references and descriptions of sexual acts.
  • Sexual Content/Nudity: With the visual and conversational references combined, they are too numerous to mention. In conversations the sexual jokes and slang are pervasive, and visually the nudity sex gags are numerous. A few (but not exhaustive) examples: A female teacher seduces a young high school male, they have sex more than once (which is mostly heard), including a moment where they’re exposed in the act in front of the entire school when a stage curtain falls. Teacher is topless. Many scenes take place in a strip club; numerous topless dancers are seen, both performing as well as lap-dancing. A couple is caught having sex in the front seat of a car, involving nudity. A stripper is seen performing oral sex. An extended scene of a man masturbating under a bed cover. Several semen jokes, including a woman licking/tasting semen residue off of a dress. Both male and female nudity, at times with only the genitals barely covered (in both gender cases). A man and woman having sex in a bed. To name a few.
  • Violence/Other: There are some cartoonish fistfights. Several people get knocked unconscious by being hit over the head with blunt objects. A few scenes of vomiting.