Posts Tagged ‘The Wedding Singer’

Metro: Pixels could be Adam Sandler’s last chance after a string of flops

Screen Shot 2015-07-22 at 10.05.01 AMBy Richard Crouse – Metro In Focus

From a career point of view, Pixels may be the most important movie of Adam Sandler’s career. The big-budget action comedy sees the comedian help save the world from aliens who attack using classic video arcade games like PAC-MAN, Donkey Kong and Centipede as models for their assaults.

In real life, it’s not Donkey Kong Sandler needs to battle, but audience apathy. A string of box office flops, controversies and terrible reviews — critic Liam Maguren was so horrified by Sandler’s 2011 “comedy” Jack and Jill he wrote, “Burn this. This cannot be seen. By anyone” — have threatened to torpedo his career.

Even his own studio seemed to have turned against him. In last year’s Sony email hack, one employee complained, “we continue to be saddled with the mundane, formulaic Adam Sandler films.”

Movies like Billy Madison, Happy Gilmour and Big Daddy were hits that established his persona as the angry but sweet everyman, a misfit character he trotted out for two decades. Occasionally he’d get serious in pictures like Punch-Drunk Love or Reign Over Me and soak up some good reviews, but by and large, the Sandleronian oeuvre has been ripe with anger management issues and jokes of … how to put this delicately: a gastrointestinal nature.

Not highbrow, but that’s OK — not everything has to be Noel Coward — as long as audiences care.

But at some point, it seemed they stopped caring.

Perhaps it was the inconsistent nature of his movies. Just when you think he’s turned a corner with the excellent Reign Over Me into interesting adult roles he slaps you in the face with the zero-star rated follow-up I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry.

Or maybe it’s quality control issues. Last year Kevin Nealon told me about being offered a role in the Sandler-produced Grandma’s Boy.

“It was so lowball and crass,” said Nealon. “I thought it might be a little embarrassing to be in that one. So I told Sandler I’d probably pass on it and he called me and said, ‘I really hope you do this because if you don’t do it and it’s a big hit I’ll feel bad, but if you do it and it’s not a big hit, no one is going to see it anyway.’”

That attitude may be realistic but it doesn’t exactly speak to high standards. More than that, however, is the static nature of Sandler’s comedy. His everyman character hasn’t changed much throughout the years. Usually these days he lives in nicer houses or has more money but it’s the same old shtick.

The old saying, “He got bigger, but didn’t grow up,” perfectly applies to Sandler.

He may have matured (chronologically at least) but the urination gags and rageaholic jokes that characterize his comedy haven’t.

We don’t need to feel sorry for Adam Sandler. He has movies in the pipeline and a new deal with Netflix, but Pixels is still an important moment for him. Rolling Stone called his last film, The Cobbler, “beyond awful and beyond repair,” and it went on to become his biggest flop to date.

If Pixels is a hit, and it may be, the trailer generated 34.3 million views worldwide in its first 24 hours online, he will be redeemed — at least until his next movie’s new round of toilet humour and cleavage shots.

Bradley Cooper & Jennifer Lawrence & onscreen couples who fizzle in reel life

00_05_scene_serenarichard_md_lizBy Richard Crouse – Metro In Focus

Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence first paired off in Silver Linings Playbook — he was a divorced substitute teacher, jailed for beating his wife’s boyfriend half to death; she was a troubled widow who needed his help to win a dance competition — and sparks flew.

Next they shared scenes, but no romance, in American Hustle. And, this weekend, they make it a trifecta with the release of Serena. Based on the novel by Ron Rash, Cooper and Lawrence play husband and wife lumber barons whose marriage becomes strained after she suffers a miscarriage. Despite having shared love scenes in movies, Cooper says they have kept the romance onscreen.

“I mean, first of all, I could be her father,” he says.

The re-teaming of Cooper and Lawrence in Serena proves that lightning does not always strike thrice.

The “it” couple had chemistry to burn in their previous pairings but fail to set off sparks here. As George and Serena they are ruthless and selfish, which should be the stuff of interesting characters, but the story throws so many hurdles their way that eventually it becomes one big, boring blur.

Some onscreen couples, however, have managed to keep the flame alive through several films.

After a 16-year separation, Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan — the pre-eminent cinema sweethearts of the 1990s — will reunite in the World War II drama Ithaca.

The three rom coms that made them superstars, Joe Versus the Volcano, Sleepless in Seattle and You’ve Got Mail, were fuelled by the platonic chemistry they share in real life.

“He makes me feel less alone,” says Ryan.

Kate Winslet and co-star Leonardo DiCaprio are so close in real life that her children refer to him as Uncle Leo. As Titanic’s star-crossed lovers Jack and Rose, they defined romantic tragedy for a whole generation before recoupling 11 years later in the feel-bad love story Revolutionary Road.

Despite what fans thought, their friendship never turned romantic off-screen. “He always saw me as one of the boys,” said Kate.

Despite falling in love over and over again in movies like The Wedding Singer, 50 First Dates and Blended, Drew Barrymore says she and Adam Sandler have exchanged nothing more than a “church kiss.”

“That’s probably why we’ve been able to stick together all these years,” she says, “because there never was that awkward moment.”

The lesson learned is that chemistry off-screen often leads to good results on the screen, but not always. Tony Curtis and Marilyn Monroe fogged up the lens in Some Like It Hot, but reportedly did not like one another.

“It was like kissing Hitler,” said Curtis.