BY KYLE LESNAK
Big Daddy, directed by Dennis Dugan, is a comedy-drama about a 32-year-old man who adopts a young boy after his girlfriend calls him irresponsible.
In New York City, Sonny Koufax, a 32-year-old slacker living off the payout of a minor accident, is judged by both his girlfriend and father for being irresponsible and doing nothing with his life. His roommate Kevin Gerrity proposes to his girlfriend Corrine Maloney before his trip to China to work on a case for his law firm. The day he leaves, a 5-year-old shows up at their apartment. After Sonny reads the letter that came with him, he learns it’s Kevin’s illegitimate son, Julian McGrath. After hanging out with the kid for a bit, Sonny decides to adopt the kid himself to prove to his girlfriend he is responsible. After posing as Kevin to the adoption agency, Sonny takes Julian to meet his girlfriend when he finds out she left him for an elderly man with a “five-year plan.” After multiple accidents with Julian, Sonny makes the decision to bring him back to the adoption agency, but after learning that the kid’s mother died and no family is ready for him, Sonny decides to take care of the kid a little bit longer until they can find a proper place for him.
This film had a nice beginning. They subvert your expectations of Sonny by showing him being rude and lazy, but when Julian shows up, I was expecting him to immediately kick the kid out. Instead, he decided to be a good person and take care of him. Though after a while he gets mad, it takes longer than I expected. But outside of the main two characters, no one else is given any personality. Even Kevin seems like such a throwaway, despite being the actual father in this situation.
Sonny is also a very indecisive character. For one second he’s very nice to Julian, but then the next he’s screaming at him for wanting to listen to a song. The movie’s ending also felt very rushed. There was barely any buildup which left me confused. They really wanted the end to feel emotional, but it ends up just being a forced mess. This movie just doesn’t know when to change the tone.
For an Adam Sandler movie, I’ve seen better. But even by itself, the movie is just very mediocre. The first half is quite solid, and while it feels sort of disconnected, it was still engaging. But the rest of it felt like they realized at the last second that this film needed a conclusion and took all the soul this movie had and tried to turn it into the most generic mess I’ve ever seen. If you want to watch something with Adam Sandler in it, you have plenty of better options than this. But if you want to watch it, I highly suggest watching the first half of this movie and then leaving the rest to your imagination. It’ll probably be better than what they did.