A lifelong slacker adopts a young boy who shows up on his doorstep so
he can impress his girlfriend, but he ends up loving the boy like a father.
Big Daddy (1999)
Directed by Dennis Dugan
Written by Steve Franks, Tim Herlihy, Adam Sandler
Starring Adam Sandler, Cole Sprouse, Dylan Sprouse,
Joey Lauren Adams, Jon Stewart, Leslie Mann, Rob Schneider,
Josh Mostel, Allen Covert, Peter Dante, Steve Buscemi
I've always loved Big Daddy. It's Adam Sandler's most successful movie, and it remains a hilarious, endearing comedy that edges into drama in all the appropriate moments. Plus, it's one of Jon Stewart's few acting roles before he landed The Daily Show, and that always makes me smile. It's a film about responsibility and what it means to be a role model. Life can be fun, but it needs structure or else everything falls apart.
Sonny Koufax (Sandler) is a law school graduate who never took the bar. A cab ran over his foot once, so he's been living on the court settlement ever since. He's lazy, and his friends all think he's kind of a deadbeat. One day, a kid named Julian (Sprouse) shows up on his doorstep with a letter that claims he's the son of Sonny's roommate Kevin (Stewart). But Kevin is in China, and Sonny's girlfriend wants him to be responsible, so Sonny adopts the kid in Kevin's name. This is super illegal and bites him in the ass later, but right now, Sonny and Julian become inseparable. Pretty soon, Sonny thinks of Julian as his son, but social services catches on and they take Julian away. Now, Sonny has to fight for custody in court, and now the film gets dramatic. It's a great ride with a lot of hilarious moments.
Big Daddy easily ranks among Adam Sandler's best films. His run in the 90s was insane. Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore, The Wedding Singer, The Waterboy, and Big Daddy. He was a powerhouse, and he still rocks the occasional winner. But in a lot of ways, his unstoppable winning streak ended with Big Daddy, and it's not hard to see why. This is a funny movie that also has a lot to say about life and family.