Over the past decade it would be fair to describe Adam Sandler as the human form of Marmite.
While many would point to his recent filmography as evidence modern comedy has only been going downhill, fans are still rushing to see Sandler’s latest work with films including Grown Ups, Pixels and Jack and Jill smashing at the box office.
However, although these films did indeed make money, the majority of people would agree they were pretty dire with Jack and Jill for example being described as one of the worst movies ever made being nominated for a record total of 12 Razzies.
Looking further at Jack and Jill, it made an incredible $149,673,788 worldwide against its $79 million budget, an astonishing feat considering it was widely panned by both critics and audiences.
The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw was particularly harsh saying ‘it is actually scary’ how bad the film is describing it as ‘a dire cross-dressing comedy that will have you dialling for Dignitas’. Ouch!
Mary Pols for TIME was equally unimpressed saying the film left her feeling ‘dead inside’ and thinking ‘as if comedy itself were a dirty thing’.
Meanwhile Ramin Setoodeh for The Daily Beast gave Jack and Jill the final kiss of death saying ‘this is, without a doubt, the worst movie that Adam Sandler’s ever made and in fact, it could be the worst movie ever made’.
If you dare, you can watch the trailer for the film below:
Despite all this, Sandler continues to be a draw for audiences and that is because he is talented, funny and a king in the comedy world.
Thanks to the numerous trashy movies he has made recently, it could be easily forgotten that during the 1990s Sandler starred in, produced and wrote some of the funniest films of that decade.
Happy Gilmore, The Waterboy, Big Daddy and The Wedding Singer not only made Sandler a star, but are all considered to be comedy classics.
After a stint at Saturday Night Live shot him to stardom, Sandler began appearing in films taking on the lead role in 1995’s Billy Madison.
Playing a 27-year-old rich man-child who has to return to school to prove he is worthy of inheriting his family’s fortune, Sandler was perfect in the role winning us over with his charm and charisma.
Establishing himself as a leading funnyman, after Billy Madison Sandler became the go-to-guy in American comedy allowing him to make film, after film, after film.
Next up for Sandler was Happy Gilmore, arguably the best movie he has ever made which, according to a Ranker poll of over 200,000 people, is the fifth funniest film of the 1990s.
Playing another man-child, this time an unsuccessful ice hockey player who discovers he has a talent for golf, once again Sandler is effortlessly endearing as Happy and ensures we are chuckling throughout.
I mean who could forget the classic scene which sees Happy hilariously screaming at a golf ball?
Definitely adolescent humour at its best, Happy Gilmore has stood the test of time and so it is no wonder fans who watched it as kids in the 1990s are gleefully returning to it today and rediscovering the joys it brings.
Happy Gilmore even won over many film critics, a rarity in Sandler’s filmography.
In fact it is one of only a couple of Sandler films which has a ‘fresh’ rating on the film review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes with 60 per cent of critics giving the movie the thumbs up, praising Sandler’s performance and the film’s boisterous nature.
From then on Sandler seemed unstoppable next making The Wedding Singer, The Waterboy and Big Daddy, all of which were box office dynamite making audiences all across the world laugh their socks off.
As we entered a new millennium though, things took a turn for Sandler.
Starting his own production company Happy Madison, named after two of the roles which brought him fame and fortune, people were excited to see what what it would bring to the world of cinema but then came Little Nicky, the company’s first film which was both critically condemned and a financial failure.
Unfortunately for Sandler, following Little Nicky he has gone from miss to miss making him one a whipping boy for film critics.
Despite this his talent does shine through occasionally with Funny People and The Meyerowitz Stories reminding us that Sandler can be a skilled actor.
While he seems content making middling comedies, which is fair enough as people are happy paying to see them, we just wish we could return to the 1990s where Sandler was truly at his best.
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Emily Murray is a journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Leeds with a BA in English Literature and History before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. Emily has previously worked for the BBC, ITV and Trinity Mirror. When Emily isn’t writing about topics including mental health and entertainment, you can find her at the cinema which is her second home.