Hot Take: Adam Sandler loves to make turkeys… Loves to make tur-ur-ur-keys!
How much money does Netflix have? Three films into an eight film deal with Adam Sandler, it’s pretty obvious they had at least a little to burn. The epic-length Sandy Wexler is Sandler’s latest. It’s basically a roast disguised as a feature film of Sandler’s talent manager Sandy Wernick who signed Sandler when he was 22 and well before his breakthrough as an SNL regular. With most of Sandler’s movies, the question isn’t whether or not Sandy Wexler is bad but how bad is it? It’s pretty bad. It’s watchable though so there’s a win.
There are other obligatory questions when it comes to a Sandler comedy: Does he do an annoying voice? Yes. Are there a slew of Sandler regulars? Rob Schneider, Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade, Kevin Nealon, Lorne Michaels, Terry Crews… I’m sure I’m missing a few. Are there other cameos? Oh my, yes! Jimmy Kimmel, Pauly Shore, Vanilla Ice, Arsenio Hall, Aaron Neville, Jane Seymour, Rob Reiner, Gary Dell’Abate, Darius Rucker, Quincy Jones, Judd Apatow, Janeane Garofalo, Colin Quinn, Henry Winkler, Tony Orlando, Dana Carvey, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Louie Anderson, Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, George Wendt, Lisa Loeb, Clay Aiken, Ma$e, “Weird Al” Yankovich… might not have all of them, either. Is there an inexplicable love interest? Enter Jennifer Hudson. Does Sandler scream? A few times. Does he sing? Yup! If Sandy Wexler were an Adam Sandler drinking game, you’d be obliterated.
There are actually a few genuinely funny moments that sneak up on you in the second half of the movie. Unfortunately, the first half is rough and if you aren’t lucky enough to fall asleep watching the first half and have to go back and watch the second half without the attrition the first half dumps on the viewer, you might not be up for the few chuckles the movie provides. It’s entertainingly bad which is always worth something. You get the feeling Sandler not only accepts his absurdly bad movies but embraces it and even the manager who the movie roasts is in on the joke as Wernick makes a cameo.
Want to know the plot? Wexler (Sandler) is a manager of less than mediocre talent who can never be honest with his clients. He discovers Courtney (Hudson) while babysitting a client’s children (the client is played by his real-life wife and the children are played by his real-life daughters) at an amusement park. Devoted to making her a star and smitten, Wexler stumbles into launching her career and then pulls away to not hold her back. The two continue to cross paths as Sandy is the only one who is there for Courtney unconditionally but can never be honest with her about her feelings. You can guess where this one goes, I hope, so I’ll spare you the rest of the details.
The jokes are sporadic and mostly unfunny. It’s especially absurd seeing it on Netflix only since the movie would benefit from a packed cinema as some of the borderline funny moments might gain a few more laughs with the organic laugh track provided by such a setting. Instead, it’s 2 hours and 11 minutes (for real, it’s that fucking long!) of exactly what you’d expect from Sandler. Oh, it’s also important to mention the movie is set in the 1990s so it’s even more in Sandler’s wheelhouse and helps explain some of those cameos. If you do endure the movie, the credits are a nice nostalgic throwback, too. Enjoy?
“Spoiler Free” Pros
- If You’re A Sandler Fan, It Has to Meet Expectations
If you tune into Sandy Wexler and are somehow disappointed, shame on you. You can only be mad at yourself for watching and expecting it to be anything different than the finished product.
- Jennifer Hudson’s Singing
She’s got an amazing voice and her contributions to the film’s soundtrack are excellent.
“Spoiler Free” Cons
- Too Many Unfunny Moments
At 2+ hours, you’re asking a lot of any comedy. This is especially true of a Sandler flick which dies on the vine early and is likely to have a checked out audience when it gets to its best moments.
- What is Kevin James Thinking?
How many times do we have to see Kevin James in a ridiculous mustache? You get the impression it’s some kind of weird fetish of his that only buddy Adam Sandler will let him experience. Stop it!