Thursday, May 29, 2014

Sandler Finally Getting His Due?

It appears Adam Sandler has finally got a long overdue comeuppance for the years of selling the American public his degraded, grade D form of juvenile humor (Salon). The man who has given us a violent golfer, a violent dad, a violent businessman (in his best turn in Punch Drunk Love), a man who has to go back to elementary school to gain a fortune, a mentally-challenged (and violent) waterboy, an airhead, an angry man and a violent hairdresser, has mellowed in recent years making the crass and really, really boring Grown Ups and Grown Ups 2. But audiences appear to have finally tired of his shtick, with his new film Blended having a terrible opening weekend (it’s $20 million in arrears at the moment), matching the failure of That’s My Boy (which lost $35 million) and Jack and Jill (made $5 million, though it did gross $74 million).

Is Sandler just suffering from the curse of growing old as a comedian? Cool can only last so long, and many huge stars move onto family comedy to stay relevant – and keep the money coming in – including Robin Williams, Eddie Murphy and Steve Martin, to name three. Sandler has partially made this move with films like Grown Ups seeking to keep his aging fan base watching. But like almost every box office draw before him, though he has lasted longer than most, he might have finally neared the end of the road for selling crap to the masses. But why? Is it that America has grown weary of stupid, unintelligent and unintelligible comedy? Or could it be that hearing Sandler admit that he made a film for $40 million to have a paid vacation in Hawaii turns off a country that continues to suffer through an economic malaise for the vast majority of the population? Has our taste improved? Well, I can’t help but think of H.L. Mencken here and his quote, “No one in this world, so far as I know - and I have searched the records for years, and employed agents to help me - has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people.” Has Sandler finally disproved the point? Well, one can dream …

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