Some of the hardiest laughs in high school were because of Adam Sandler. I remember the day a classmate lent me his Walkman for a few minutes to sample “At a medium pace” from Sandler’s album “They’re all gonna laugh at you.” As a hormonally charged teenager, I was drawn to his dirty humor. This admiration continued through my college years as VHS tapes of Happy Gilmore, The Wedding Singer and The Waterboy we’re scattered throughout my dorm.
However as time went on, Sandler matured and all his films began having less violent outbursts less of the 8th grade humor that I fell in love with. There is a very recognizable crew regularly appearing in the Happy Gilmore films and they all happen to take place in lavish vacation spots. Throw in a Jennifer Anniston or a Selma Hayek and you’ve got yourself an Adam Sandler film.
The SNL alumn made his most recent appearance in Pixels, targeted to be a retro video gamer delight. With the popularity of Wreck it Ralph, one would assume an appearance of Pac-Man and Donkey Kong would be a long-awaited home run for Sandler. But at 18% on Rotten Tomatoes, it seems like his dry spell remains in the doldrums.
We didn’t see the usual Happy Madison crew in this film and I think this is the one time it hurt him. Think about it. Remember Grandma’s Boy? It starred Allen Covert as a video game programmer. Why not have Pixels run as a parallel story to that film or at least integrate his character somewhere into that universe? That would give an opportunity to bring back Covert’s love interest Linda Cardellini, whose involvement in Avengers: Age of Ultron could help give the film a boost. Would that necessarily save the film? I dunno but it would’ve been worth a shot.
What’s done is done, I suppose. Sandler and co-star Kevin James have one last Sony picture to go with Hotel Transylvania 2 next month. After that, the Happy Madison family are off to Netflix for a 4-picture deal. Hopefully they will be taking advantage of this opportunity to break away from the Sandler formula from the last decade and bring back some of the fire – and by fire, I mean screaming and poop jokes.