Friday, April 24, 2015

Actor Review Part 2: No Really, Adam Sandler Is A Talentless Hack

I said before in my review of Hotel Transylvania that I don't hate Adam Sandler, and it's really mostly true. It's not that I find Adam Sandler openly offensive so much as it is that I've just lost respect for him.

I first started to lose respect for him at the point where I realized that all of his movies were basically exactly the same, just with window dressing changed. Happy Gilmore, Billy Madison, 50 First Dates, Anger Management, Click... every single one of them follows the same plot: Adam Sandler is a selfish, stupid asshole who, with the help of a wacky sidekick, learns how to be slightly less insufferable and gets the girl. Only the details change.

Then I lost more respect when it occurred to me that even in the Sandler movies I enjoyed, Sandler himself was never a really good or even memorable part of the movie. The best part of each movie is something entirely unrelated to him. In Happy Gilmore it's the foul-mouthed Bob Barker screaming about how much Gilmore sucks at golf. In Billy Madison it's Chris Farley as the psychotic bus driver (followed closely by Steve Buscemi as the insane would-be serial killer).

And then he made Grown Ups and I kinda started wishing he'd get hit by a bus.

Okay, so maybe I was wrong about not really hating Adam Sandler. But I did also realize that Adam Sandler is basically the perfect mirror image opposite version of Robin Williams. No, really:


Robin Williams was an oddball nutcase who was difficult to relate to but in a way that's fun and, if you think about it, kinda genius.

Adam Sandler is an everyman that everyone can relate to, but only by virtue of being blandly generic and dumb enough to appeal to the lowest common denominator.


Robin Williams was so hilarious and unpredictable that he stole every scene he was ever in.

Adam Sandler is trite and unfunny and constantly outshone by his funnier co-stars.


When Robin Williams realized his tendency to steal the show he attempted to rein it in, going so far as to demand to have his name removed from the advertising for Disney's Aladdin. (Disney refused his demand, however, and he eventually backed down.)

Adam Sandler always has to be the star of the show.

Actor Review: Adam Sandler Is A Talentless Hack (And Also Possibly Racist)

Recently a dozen Native American actors walked off the set of Adam Sandler's latest film production citing a list of complaints, specifically regarding disrespectful treatment of female and elder Native Americans, and even more specifically the fact that the movie features two female Native characters named Beaver's Breath and No Bra.

Now STOP.

Because right now I can see you already scrolling down to the comments section, pounding angrily at the keyboard, furiously typing up a response to explain to me how I just don't understand that Native Americans are so mistreated, or that censorship is bad.

But see, neither of those things are the real problem here. They're not. The problem isn't that Sandler is a racist dick, or that overly sensitive people want him to censor himself.

No, the problem is that we're even having this conversation at all. The problem is that in this country, today, those two extremes are the only options that we believe we have available to us: that either we censor everything or nothing is sacred.

Obviously turning into the Taliban and declaring Holy Jihad against anyone who says something marginally questionable is really bad.

And obviously depicting an entire culture with a character named after a vaginal gas expulsion is also really bad.

But you know what? There IS something between those two extremes. It's called having some fucking CLASS. The reason Sandler's "jokes" are bad isn't because they're about Native Americans - if you think that's the problem then shut up, you're an asshole. It's because they're tasteless and insulting, and to the REAL people who are the butt of the joke it is absolutely a big deal. (And again, if you disagree with that then shut up, you're an asshole.)

Further, they don't even have the basic decency to be tasteless and insulting in a clever or unexpected way. That would at least give them SOME merit. No, Sandler committed the cardinal sin of race jokes: telling jokes that are not only racist but also unfunny and lazy. That right there is a deadly combination.

Now, the dumbest among you are right now screaming into the wind, "b-b-but, censorship! If you don't let people say whatever they want whenever they want then you're opressing them and taking away their rights!" But that's bullshit, and I can prove it: because right now, YOU'RE offended by me suggesting that your actions are offensive to others. You're thinking right now that I shouldn't have the right to say this, that someone should STOP me from saying this because you find my words to be offensive and threatening.

If you have things that offend you, what makes you think that no one else should be allowed the same courtesy? Oh yeah, because you're selfish.