Leave it to Adam Sandler to resurrect the phrase “open up a can of whoop ass” and the term “needledick.”
Yes, the professional goofball who cracked up people with Happy Gilmore, Billy Madison and – one could argue – The Wedding Singer is back. And his latest movie, The Waterboy (Touchstone Pictures) is sure to inspire smart asses across the country to emulate his latest class clown antics.
The Waterboy is the story of Bobby Boucher (Sandler), a socially inept Cajun mama’s boy who discovers his talent may not be on the sidelines of the football field serving water, but rather on the gridiron. The 31-year-old gets fired from a job as a Louisiana college team’s waterboy – or water distribution engineer, as he calls it – and takes a job serving agua to a lesser team, the SCLSU Mud Dogs. He attacks one of the Dogs for saying his water sucks, and low and behold, a tackling prodigy is born.
The premise does bear a striking resemblance to Happy Gilmore, in which Sandler’s character discovers that his poor hockey skills better translate to the game of golf. Not to worry though, the jokes, and the cast delivering them, are fresh and funny.
The cast is eclectic to say the least, with Fairuza Balk (The Craft) as the psycho girlfriend, Kathy Bates (Misery) as the psycho mother and Henry Winkler (“Happy Days”) as the psycho football coach.
As proven in her lunatic role in Misery, Bates makes a great wacko Cajun mama. She delivers hilarious dialogue in a N’awleans accent, proclaiming that everything and everyone is the devil, including little girls and Ben Franklin.
Sandler is back to his reject behavior and signature silly voice. Whether it’s taking a football to the head or totally misunderstanding a girl’s sexual advances, Sandler is willing to unabashedly humiliate himself for laughs.
Some of the jokes and tackles may only be amusing to football fans. Not everyone will get the joke when former New York Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor makes a cameo, advising a group of kids not to smoke crack. But it’s still funny even if you don’t know L.T. recently faced drug charges.
Maybe, the Cajun population of Louisiana won’t find it such a hoot – but the movie is undeniably funny. What better reason is there to laugh if not at the expense of others? It’s a comedy. It’s meant to be watched without over-thinking. Sandler obviously didn’t over-think when he wrote it. That’s the beauty of it.
The Waterboy opens Friday.