Overview: An out-of-place waterboy is picked up by a struggling college football team; Touchstone Pictures/Waterboy Productions; 1998; PG-13; 90 Minutes
My Actual Notes Taken While Revisiting this Movie:
Forgot how annoying the speech impediment was.
Think of picking Rob Schneider in death pool.
Why Kathy Bates?
Worst sports movie ever: This or Varsity Blues?
Is Rob Schneider even still alive?
Fairuza Balk could eat a tire without silverware.
This is worse. Makes VB look like fucking David Lean.
Per Google: Rob Schneider is alive and worth $16 million. Goddammit.
The Perversion of a Comic Staple: Oh, the overgrown man-child. Tommy Boy, Hot Rod, Zoolander, Anchorman, and Dumb and Dumber—all have brilliant characters, pitiable but hilarious in their juvenile handling of adult situations. Some of the best comedy of the modern film era capitalizes on the proven formula. And the worst comedy of the modern film era poisons and perverts the formula. Adam Sandler and his crew inject the most potent version of that poison; the most vulgar offenses of the perversion. What Sandler is doing here is a twisted rendition of man-child so gross that it deserves a new name, perhaps “Mandicapped” or “Brotarded”. If you’re offended by the implied comparison of these labels, that’s good. You should be. But point your backlash in the right direction. Sandler applies the emulative style of acting that begs the connection. Speech impediment, spastic body language, autistic disconnect, behavioral lack of control—all qualities of diagnosis evident in films like The Waterboy, Little Nicky, Billy Madison, etc. The man-child formula was never meant to be extended to this illogical conclusion.
The Least Laughable: Adam Sandler has since, in glimpses, proven himself to be capable of so much more than the dull, juvenile gags on display in The Waterboy. He excels as the sharp-witted, love-struck everyman (parts of The Wedding Singer, 50 First Dates). In the hands of more capable directors, he’s provided the perfect symbolic analog for the figure whose loneliness stems from the same place as his bemusing personality (Punch Drunk Love, Funny People). And yet, in recent years, he’s also proven himself content with the lowbrow sandbox he shares with his dumb friends, probably in no small part because of the millions thrown in his direction with each stupid movie. We use the box office to fund our own monsters.
Overall: The Waterboy is the worst offender in a string of terrible comedies from the Happy Madison team.