Monday, March 26, 2007

Adam Sandler's femalephobia.

I basically gave up on Adam Sandler movies after BIG DADDY.  The few I've seen in their entirety since are PUNCH-DRUNK LOVE (where he did a good job serving the vision of Paul Thomas Anderson), THE LONGEST YARD (surprisingly not bad for a 00s remake of a 70s film) and the recently-opened REIGN OVER ME.

REIGN OVER ME is another example of writer/director Mike Binder (THE UPSIDE OF ANGER, the recent direct-to-DVD release MAN ABOUT TOWN) tailoring a concept to fit a Big Star.  This film about a former man turned manchild due to losing wife and children on 9/11 was originally intended for Tom Cruise.  Cruise turned it down and Binder went to Sandler.  Apparently this time, Sandler wanted a "serious" film that wouldn't turn off his regular audience and Binder obliged.

There are enough effective moments in REIGN OVER ME (some of them provided by co-star Don Cheadle, as well as Sandler in his big dramatic scenes) to make it at least worth a bargain matinee ticket or a Netflix rental. 

But Adam Sandler still has lots of issues with women.  Once again, women are divided into two categories in Adamland: bitches or "angels" who know not to "judge" or question him.  There will never be an in-between with Sandler--a comic who's now entering his forties, where it will be a bit more difficult to keep playing the eternal adolescent.

P.S.  The character Sandler plays in REIGN OVER ME has "good taste" in classic rock; he rhapsodizes over The Who, Jackson Browne and Bruce Springsteen circa THE RIVER.  Presumably this plot point is from the mind of Mike Binder, because in the Dennis Dugan-directed BIG DADDY, Sandler and Joey Lauren Adams bond over their love of Styx and Sandler calls rock critics "cynical a--holes"--and that line of dialogue is served up absolutely straight.

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