FilmOpinion

The Best of Adam Sandler: 10 Films Better Than “Blended”

Charlie Greenwald ‘16 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer

Every single time I see a commercial for Blended, the latest Adam Sandler movie, I want to throw my remote at the television. Besides looking utterly insufferable, it puts an official end to a solid partnership between Sandler and Drew Barrymore, who proved to make a good team in two previous films. The movie looks like a horrible parade of penis and racist jokes set to the backdrop of two single parents who hate each other but are miraculously forced to spend a vacation together in Africa. The reviews are tellingly atrocious.

Sandler has a few interesting projects on the horizon, including a collaboration with Up in the Air director Jason Reitman and a drama from Win Win writer-director Tom McCarthy. However, at this particular juncture, I think a Sandler retrospective is necessary. We need to evaluate where Sandler is right now in his career, so he can learn from his mistakes (Little Nicky, anyone?) and try and make some better films, like the following pictures below.

Here is my list of the Top 10 Adam Sandler movies as of May 2014.

10. Just Go With It (2011)

Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler in Just Go with It. Photo Credit: Sony Pictures.
Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler in Just Go with It. Photo Credit: Sony Pictures.

Sandler has great chemistry with fellow seasoned comedy star Jennifer Aniston, and the jokes are better executed than in some of Sandler’s other farces. Though the plot is formulaic, Sandler is truly at ease here. This is the most recent movie on this list, and it’s also the highest rated… that’s because everything else in the last 5 years that he has done has been utter crap. That’s My Boy, Grown Ups and Jack and Jill were all ghastly.

9. Spanglish (2004)

Paz Vega and Adam Sandler in Spanglish. Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures.
Paz Vega and Adam Sandler in Spanglish. Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures.

The legendary James L. Brooks worked with Sandler for this movie about a young couple and their relationship with their housekeeper. It’s a lesser-known film with great depth. Not initially praised by critics, but I found it really touching.

8. Funny People (2009)

Leslie Mann and Adam Sandler in Funny People.
Leslie Mann and Adam Sandler in Funny People.

Judd Apatow directs Sandler in this film about a dying comedian who befriends a young aspiring comic, played by Seth Rogen, and then tries to win back his old girlfriend, Leslie Mann. The movie, as I remember it, starts out really funny, and then gets incredibly serious as it goes along. I had a problem with its tone. Having said that, Sandler is excellent in it.

7. Anger Management (2003)

Jack Nicholson and Adam Sandler in Anger Management. Photo Credit: Phillip Caruso/Columbia Pictures.
Jack Nicholson and Adam Sandler in Anger Management. Photo Credit: Phillip Caruso/Columbia Pictures.

Sandler goes toe-to-toe with one of my favorite actors ever, Jack Nicholson, and pulls a completely zany performance out of him. Some of the comedy is winningly stupid, some of it just stupid—but either way, it succeeds at handling the sensitive, interesting issue of people with anger management problems. Sandler also dates Marisa Tomei in this movie, who is my celebrity crush, so that bumped this flick up a few spots.

6. You Don’t Mess With the Zohan (2008)

Adam Sandler in You Don't Mess with the Zohan. Photo Credit: Columbia/TriStar.
Adam Sandler in You Don’t Mess with the Zohan. Photo Credit: Columbia/TriStar.

Maybe it’s just me, but I find this movie hilarious. Sandler often plays schlubby rich Jewish guys in his comedies, but in this, he portrays the fictional Zohan, a super skilled Israeli soldier-turned-hairstylist. It’s a hilarious, exaggerated character, with a kind of Jim Carrey-esque physicality and the exagerrative, Chuck Norris. Judd Apatow’s producing hand doesn’t hurt, either.

5. Billy Madison (1995)

Adam Sandler in Billy Madison. Photo Credit: Universal Pictures.
Adam Sandler in Billy Madison. Photo Credit: Universal Pictures.

The movie that started it all. Adam Sandler goes back to school, and yells at kids to spit out the answers “T-t-t-today, junior!” It’s also one of the few Sandler films that Chris Farley is credited in, and ultimately the last.

4. Reign Over Me (2007)

Don Cheadle and Adam Sandler in Reign Over Me. Photo Credit: Tracy Bennett/Columbia Pictures.
Don Cheadle and Adam Sandler in Reign Over Me. Photo Credit: Tracy Bennett/Columbia Pictures.

Sandler flexes his tender, dramatic chops as a grief-stricken husband in this 9/11 movie, costarring the equally affecting Don Cheadle. It’s a beautiful movie that nobody ever expected Sandler could have done. Robbed of an Oscar nomination, if not for being amazing, for defying expectations.

3. The Wedding Singer (1998)

Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler in The Wedding Singer. Photo Credit: Zade Rosenthal/New Line Cinema.
Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler in The Wedding Singer. Photo Credit: Zade Rosenthal/New Line Cinema.

A lovely little romance. Here, Sandler focuses more on the intricacies of love over the comedy, which doesn’t usually happen. His chemistry with Barrymore is electric, and she’s in the prime of her career. It’s better than 50 First Dates, and MUCH better than Blended will be.

2. Punch-Drunk Love (2002)

Emily Watson and Adam Sandler in Punch-Drunk Love. Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures.
Emily Watson and Adam Sandler in Punch-Drunk Love. Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures.

If there’s one Sandler movie you haven’t seen but really should, it’s this one. I’ve mentioned Funny People, Spanglish, and Reign Over Me but this is Sandler’s best dramatic role. He kills it as an obsessive, dark businessman who tries tapping into his more emotional side. Roger Ebert praised Sandler’s performances, saying it reminded him of Dennis Hopper.

1. Happy Gilmore (1996)

Adam Sandler stars as Happy Gilmore. Photo Credit: Universal Pictures.
Adam Sandler in Happy Gilmore. Photo Credit: Universal Pictures.

Happy Gilmore is the funniest Adam Sandler movie, for several reasons. First of all, his supporting cast is exceptional. Christopher McDonald is a riot as Shooter McGavin, Carl Weathers (Apollo Creed in Rocky) is hilarious as Happy’s coach and Ben Stiller cameos in a brief but uproarious scene as the owner of a retirement home. You might also recognize Modern Family’s Julie Bowen as Sandler’s love interest. This movie took the Billy Madison prototype and kicked it up a notch, adding a hilarious sporting element to it as well as the best movie fight ever with Bob Barker. Sandler may never be as funny again.

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2 Comments

  1. For future reference:
    Actors of fully Jewish background: -Logan Lerman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Mila Kunis, Natalie Portman, Bar Refaeli, James Wolk, Julian Morris, Esti Ginzburg, Kat Dennings, Erin Heatherton, Odeya Rush, Anton Yelchin, Paul Rudd, Scott Mechlowicz, Lizzy Caplan, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Gal Gadot, Robert Kazinsky, Melanie Laurent, Marla Sokoloff, Shiri Appleby, Justin Bartha, Adam Brody, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Gabriel Macht, Halston Sage.

    Actors with Jewish mothers and non-Jewish fathers -Jake Gyllenhaal, Dave Franco, Scarlett Johansson, Daniel Radcliffe, Alison Brie, Eva Green, Emmy Rossum, Jennifer Connelly, Eric Dane, Jeremy Jordan, Joel Kinnaman.

    Actors with Jewish fathers and non-Jewish mothers, who themselves were either raised as Jews and/or identify as Jews: -Andrew Garfield, Ezra Miller, Alexa Davalos, Nat Wolff, James Maslow, Josh Bowman, Ben Foster, Nikki Reed, Zac Efron.

    Actors with one Jewish-born parent and one parent who converted to Judaism -Dianna Agron, Sara Paxton (whose father converted, not her mother), Alicia Silverstone, Jamie-Lynn Sigler.

  2. why don’t you include 50 first dates? it’s also one of the best movies of adam sadler :) btw its only my opinion :) have a good day :)

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