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Sonny Koufax - Adam Sandler
Layla - Joey Lauren Adams
Julian - Dylan/Cole Sprouse

Kevin Gerrity - Jon Stewart

Director: Dennis Dugan

I am not sure how often comparisons occur between Jim Carrey and Adam Sandler, I am guessing rather frequently, and it’s understandable why. Both rely on a childlike, energetic, frantic sense of humor. Both came from ensemble casts, and both now command high dollars for movie projects. In my eyes, the two were about neck and neck on the likeability of movies' factor, with Carrey having a slight edge after The Truman Show. However, Sandler is gaining a bit, albeit, he has yet to prove his dramatic prowess, he has shown that when he tones himself down, he has an innocent, likable charm, that you just cannot help enjoying. I have only liked one Sandler movie, to this point (The Wedding Singer), but now, you can add Big Daddy to that list.

Sandler plays a worthless slacker, who relishes visits from delivery drivers, and his one-day a week job at a toll booth. He is an everyman here, a child, in a grown-up's body. When, through the infamous cinematic occurrence of being in the wrong place at the right time, he inherits a small child, he is forced to grow up a bit. Now, with this premise, the movie could have gotten very stupid and infantile, with Sandler once again doing his scene stealing best to play up the adult, trying to act adult, but not succeeding. Instead, the movie plays on his innocent charm, and likeability, and lets the adorable Sprouse twins, steal the movie away.

I have to admit, I really, really did not want to like this movie. I have been so insulted and infuriated with his previous efforts, that I really did not even want to give this movie a chance. Now that I have, I am glad I did. There are genuinely funny scenes, several "awwww" obligatory cute scenes, and an underlying charm here that just reaches inside you and makes you like it.

Now granted, there are problems with this film. You can see exactly where the plot is going from moment one, and it follows it to a T. I was offended by the obsession with bodily functions, and one scene involving the discussion of drugs and alcohol with a group of preschoolers. The one thing I admired though, was that Sandler was toned down, and in doing such, gave a realistic heartfelt performance, that had me leaving the theater smiling.

Ultimately, I was surprised at how good I felt when I left the theater from this movie. All of the predictable heartstring pulling, plot twists you can see from several miles away, and fairly shallow character development, are forgiven, because of the fact that it made me feel good. Sandler is charming, the kid is so adorable, and everyone else seems to be relaxed and having fun, and isn’t that the key here? We goto to the movies to be entertained, whether it be to be scared by a horror film, intrigued by an intelligent thriller, or mushed to pieces by a romance. Big Daddy is a sappy comedy, and never pretends nor tries to be anything more. It succeeds greatly in my eyes, and is definitely worth a look. ($$$ of $$$$)

Actor and movie information courtesy of the Internet Movie Database

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