We investigate how the #1 movie has played in Peoria, Illinois

By Gregg Kilday
Updated September 20, 1996 at 04:00 AM EDT


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In Bulletproof, when things are going well between the leading characters, Adam Sandler tells Damon Wayans things like ”You’re the only guy I’ve ever trusted” and ”I’m falling in love with you all over again.” When things are going badly, the cop (Wayans) says of the criminal (Sandler), ”I want his a–hole cuffed to his nuts.” When things are going really badly, Wayans apprehends a naked Sandler, who’s attempting to escape through a window, by pushing the barrel of his gun up Sandler’s rear.

The buddy-buddy byplay in the new action comedy didn’t leave everyone laughing. After experiencing the movie’s many tush-fixated remarks and the killing of one villain who threatens to make Sandler fellate him, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) condemned the nation’s No. 1 movie for its ”hackneyed anti-gay stereotypes.” (GLAAD last denounced 1995’s Braveheart.)

”It’s one long overblown homophobic punchline,” GLAAD communications director Alan Klein says. Wayans, Sandler, codirector Ernest Dickerson, producer Robert Simonds, and screenwriter Lewis Colick were unavailable for comment at press time. Meanwhile, in Peoria, Ill., the mostly teenage, mostly male, very enthusiastic opening-weekend audiences at the Willow Knolls 14 Theater didn’t necessarily notice what all the fuss was about — or that the movie had jokes. Here’s what a sampling had to say:

Mark Yarbrough, 17, student (top) ”I’ve had a best friend for five years and I’d do just about anything for him. People who have friends like that probably look at movies like this a little different.”

Kyle Johnson, 16, student ”It’s good, but I really didn’t expect that much shooting and violence. That was kind of a shocker.”

Adam Oertley, 14, student ”It’s not as good as Happy Gilmore, but I laughed my head off when Adam Sandler got a gun in the butt.”

Ryan Van Osdol, 14, student ”I think Adam Sandler was decent as a halfway serious actor, but he’s way better at comedy.”

Loren Smith, 15, student ”Why does Adam Sandler always play gay guys…even ones who act just a little gay? I don’t get that at all.”

Lennard Pascall, 48, soldier ”It’s excellent. I loved the trust — and the deception. The contrast between the two emotions is the best part.”

Carly Brady, 14, student ”I thought it was hilarious when Adam Sandler peed on himself. There was way more gunfighting than I thought there would be. I think that and some of the other stuff makes it more of a kid movie than an adult movie.”


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  • Ernest Dickerson