You’ve got to hand it Adam Sandler: the guy gets exorbitant salaries to make crappy comedies with his entourage of unfunny and untalented goons who think the words “pee-pee” and “poo-poo” are the height of hilarity, and every bit of pathetic schlock that goes out into theaters with Sandler’s name above the title often makes beaucoup bucks at the box office. The guy started out making comedies that were genuinely funny though extremely juvenile at first, but somewhere along the way he found out that it was easier to sell out and stick to a surefire formula for making movies that generate fast and plentiful profits in theaters and on video and cable.
The old Sandler – the guy who only cares about making people laugh and not just about satisfying his taste-deprived fan base – occasionally shows up for a fleeting moment, like the wonderful first two acts of Judd Apatow’s bloated Funny People, but then he disappears just as fast into another awful movie where he plays an overgrown manchild who loves to vomit, defecate on someone’s front lawn, and engage in acts of pointlessly absurd brutality that would only be truly hilarious to the lobotomized.
As the old saying goes, whatever works.
Even in his worst movies Sandler usually comes off looking the best because he never has to worry about being blown off the screen by a superior co-star since most of his fellow cast members are either slumming once-stars (Hi Mr. Pacino) or his former friends from Saturday Night Live who never reaped as many big screen rewards as he has, which is why he hardly does it anymore. But having a more talented co-star to work with usually compels Sandler to bring his A-game, to…you know…actually display some of the talent that he has spent the majority of his career suppressing. So it might come as good news that Sandler has signed on to co-star opposite fellow Saturday Night Live alum Will Ferrell in the long-in-development comedy Three Mississippi for Warner Bros.
Three Mississippi, according to Claude Brodesser-Akner over at Vulture, will tell “the tale of two rival families who have an annual tackle football game at Thanksgiving “” with one family the perennial loser.” Sandler will be playing the guy whose family always loses, a role once set to be played by Mark Wahlberg before he left the movie to star in Peter Berg’s next feature, the Navy SEAL drama Lone Survivor. Also once attached to the film was director Adam McKay, a frequent collaborator of Ferrell’s who had to vacate his director’s chair in order to begin prepping next year’s Anchorman sequel. Stepping in for McKay is Sean Anders, who made the great 2008 comedy Sex Drive and also directed Sandler in this summer’s That’s My Boy, which has him co-starring with yet another SNL alum, Andy Samberg. Alec Baldwin remains on board to play Sandler’s father.
This movie could go belly up like many of Sandler’s – and a few of Ferrell’s – cinematic endeavors in the past, but then again teaming the two behemoths of comedy could be very beneficial for them both, and very profitable for the studio. I look forward to seeing what comes of this interesting collaboration.