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Defending Adam Sandler

Unpopular Opinions is a new weekly column in which a writer takes a stand against popular opinion, whether it's asserting the true merit of a supposedly guilty pleasure or dissenting against the universally lauded.

Going into a conversation where you’re defending Adam Sandler is normally not going to work in your favor. I learned this six years ago when I was doing my shift hanging out with Holocaust survivors, and one of the old guys actually turned to me and said, 'This is the worst thing I've ever seen,” and this was coming from a man who was in Auschwitz. There was no way I was going to try to defend the merits of Sandler talking gibberish to a room full of men who lived through one of the darkest periods in all of humanity. If he thought Sandler making a bottle of shampoo battle a bottle of conditioner was bad, then I had to agree. I changed the channel and we watched Family Feud hosted by Al from Home Improvement.

Beyond my volunteering duties, I’ve tried countless other times to explain that Sandler’s brand of comedy is purely visceral, and sometimes you need that in your life. Sandler is the perfect, mindless escape after you’ve actually used your brain all day, and just want the visual equivalent to a dirty thirty of beer. Throughout the 1990s, Sandler was the king of this sort of comedy — both with his films and comedy albums — and it set him up to make more “serious” films and family friendly ones in the new millennium. Sandler excels at being the living embodiment of the dick and fart joke, and knowing that is his bread and butter. Sometimes he’ll take a detour and work with Paul Thomas Anderson like he did in 2002’s Punch Drunk Love, or he’ll make a gut wrenching film like Reign Over Me, or a true gem like Funny People; but more often than not, he’ll get you Little Nicky. Whatever the case, I think even attempting to mention the fact that I like his films is useless, now that he’s been nominated for a record twelve Razzies. READ MORE