Where is the love for Adam Sandler? Here are six of his films I recommend you see.

by Martin Hafer

Recently, Forbes came out with their annual Most Overpaid Actor list and for the second year in a row, Adam Sandler heads this infamous list.  What this means is that based on what he’s paid per picture, Sandler has the lowest return for dollar spent.  So, although Sandler was clearly box office gold a decade ago, now he seems to be box office poison–and it’s not surprising based on some of his choices of film projects.  In my age group (45-55), Sandler is a particularly tough sell, though I am going to do something that might shock and alienate some of my readers–give you a list of Sandler’s films that you should see. My decision to come up with the list is because I have talked to many folk who simply wouldn’t see any of his films…or at least admit that they watch them. 

However, for every terrible and ill-chosen project like Jack and Jill or Little Nicky (two films I wouldn’t even recommend to my enemies) there’s another one that is actually highly watchable and worth your time.   Plus, although I love foreign and artsy films, sometimes I just need something different and this collection is different.  So, here’s my list of his films to see:

1. Reign Over Me–Interestingly, Sandler’s best film, by far, is not a comedy…and maybe he should consider this.  This film is about a man who lost his family during 9/11 and who steadfastly refuses to face this.   It is clearly a film to watch with someone you love as well as with a box of tissues.  Had it starred someone else, I think it would have done better with critics and ‘with it’ people–and he is surprisingly good.

2. The Waterboy–Okay, I’ll admit that this film is NOT exactly like watching Downton Abbey.  It’s stupid from start to finish.  However, it IS funny in a ‘turn off your brain and just laugh’ sort of way.  This is clearly my guilty pleasure pick among  Sandler’s films and always makes me smile…especially when I see him with good ‘ol Colonel Sanders.

3. The Wedding Singer–A very watchable date film.  Plus how can any film with a cameo by Billy Idol (playing, who else, Billy Idol) be all bad?!

4. Happy Gilmore–A bad film with one redeeming scene that makes it all worth watching.  Happy (Sandler) is saddled with Bob Barker at a celebrity golf tournament…and I nearly passed out laughing where it went next.

5. Spanglish–Like my favorite Sandler film, Reign Over Me, this is really not a comedy.  Hello…Mr. Sandler, please, please make more films like these!

6. Hotel Transylvania–An adorable CGI film that probably got lost among the many, many, many CGI films these days.  Sandler is able to deliver a nice Dracula accent without being too campy and the film has (dare I say it) a lot of heart.

Are there any others I might include?  Well there are a few that are passable (such as Click) but no others I’d strongly recommend.  My advice is to disregard the part of your brain that would rather watch the latest release from the Criterion Collection and give one of these films a try…and then let me know what you think.