Despite the snarky blogosphere’s best efforts, I just can’t be convinced to dislike Adam Sandler, and I’m not sorry about it. Sure, his last few movies — including Jack and Jill, which debuted last weekend — have been almost unspeakably terrible, but I just simply can’t help but respect the man.
Maybe this is because, as a box office junkie, I tend to judge actors based on their drawing power, rather than their craft. Looking at the numbers, it’s impossible not to think Sandler is brilliant.
The man has headlined twelve $100+ million comedies in the last 13 years, and he’s produced a number of other successful comedies like Zookeeper and Paul Blart: Mall Cop through his own Happy Madison production company. Basically, he makes whatever movie he wants — and rakes in heaps of cash doing just that, regardless of quality. You might not like comedies like Grown Ups or You Don’t Mess with the Zohan, and that’s fine — I don’t either. But the reality is, they make money, and Sandler is one of the few legitimate box office draws in Hollywood. Wouldn’t any actor kill for that sort of continued market viability?
Plus, it’s impossible to deny that Sandler is pleasing some moviegoers out there. For every audience member who loathes Sandler’s work, there are several who would reject an “artsy-fartsy” film in favor of a “fartsy” film. And if the continued success of the Alvin and the Chipmunks franchise is any indication, those people make up much of the movie-going audience these days. Should I hate Sandler for being too willing to please the masses? In terms of business, he pleases his niche audience — sounds pretty smart to me.
I do wish that his comedies retained the goofy charm that lifted titles like The Waterboy and Big Daddy out of pure mockability, but there is something about an actor who doesn’t feign artistry that endears me to him. Sorry, artistic expression, I’m all about the numbers.
Am I crazy, here? Or are you impressed with Sandler’s savvy as well?
Follow me on Twitter: @EWGradySmith