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MFF Special: Analyzing Adam Sandler’s Films to Create a Perfectly Terrible Sandler Film

June 17, 2020

Quick note: I recently put this up on Reddit and it got a huge response so I decided to share it here too.

Last year, Adam Sandler was a guest on Howard Stern’s show to discuss his starring role in the excellent Uncut Gems. During the interview, Sandler made a joke about what would happen if he didn’t win the Best Actor Academy Award. He told Howard:

“If I don’t get it, I’m going to f–king come back and do one again that is so bad on purpose just to make you all pay. That’s how I get them.”

In a bad news, bad news situation, Sandler wasn’t nominated, and he’s promised to make a terrible film (I’ll still watch it a few times regardless). In an effort to assist the Sandman with his terrible film, I dug through all of his films and analyzed their posters to come up with the objectively worst Sandler picture that could be made. Here it is:

  • Jacked Up
  • Directed by Dennis Dugan
  • Written By – Tim Herlihy
  • PG-13
  • Running Time: 135 minutes
  • Released on Netflix
  • Predicted Tomatometer score – 6%
  • Predicted IMDb score – 3.75

Adam Sandler plays a personal trainer/shoe salesman named Jack Goodheart who is married to Janet Goodheart (Also, Sandler, using a very off-putting voice). They travel to an exclusive resort in Costa Rica to attend his 30th high school anniversary during the fourth of July weekend. During the event, Rob Schneider (playing a terrorist) and his team of henchmen, hijack the event and take everyone hostage, including State Senator Chuck Finley (Terry Crews) and presidential candidate Casey Fitzpatrick (Maya Rudolph). During the melee, Jack and Janet escape, and the two use their past military experience and buff physiques to save the day. This PG-13 action-comedy is entitled “Jacked Up” and ends with a jet ski chase at the hotel’s lazy river pool that circles the hotel. The film is directed by Dennis Dugan, and co-stars Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade, Salma Hayek, Terry Crews, Steve Buscemi, Taylor Lautner, Luke Wilson, Peter Dinklage, Maya Rudolph, and Al Pacino.

This is how I came up with the storyline. I pulled together his best and worst films to find patterns that appear. Here are Sandler’s lowest rated films on Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb. I drew a lot of inspiration from them. Also, I tried to make this as objective as possible.

  • The Ridiculous 6 (0% TM) – Action Comedy – Action hero
  • Jack and Jill (3% – 3.3 IMDb) – Two Sandler’s – Jet Ski scene – Married – Holiday
  • Grown Ups 2 (7%) – Reunited with old friends – Married
  • Bulletproof (8%) – Action comedy
  • The Cobbler (9%) – Shoe repairman
  • The Do-Over (10%) – Action Comedy – Reunited with old friend – Married
  • Grown Ups (10%) – Reunited with old friends – Holiday – Married
  • Adam Sandler’s Eight Crazy Nights (12%)– Takes place during a holiday
  • Blended (14%) – He’s a dad who travels to Africa
  • Going Overboard (1.8 IMDb) – Lots of terrible boat action
  • The Week Of (5.1 IMDb) families get together for a wedding
  • Sandy Wexler (5.1 IMDb) – Sandler pulls a unique voice (which isn’t statistically a good thing

Here’s all I research I compiled to create Jacked Up

  • A trademark of Sandler’s latest movies is that he likes to travel to beautiful locations to film (which is brilliant, and why not?). The Do-Over, Just Go With It, BlendedGrown Ups 1 & 2 and Murder Mystery are examples of his penchant for travel. The problem is, the films have a lower Tomatometer average (21.2%) than the films where he didn’t travel to nice locations (37.4%). This is why he travels in Jacked Up.
  • Sandler has several directors that he enjoys working with. Those Directors are Steven Brill, Dennis Dugan and Frank Coraci. Steven Brill (20%) has a lower Tomatometer average than Dennis Dugan (24%) and Frank Coraci (30%). However, Dugan is responsible for Jack & Jill, so I’m giving him the director’s chair. He did direct Happy Gilmore, so this could backfire on me. Frank Coraci directed The Ridiculous 6, but, I love the baseball scene and he also directed The Waterboy and The Wedding Singer.
  • Aside from You Don’t Mess With the Zohan (which is brilliant, and has a fun jet ski action scene), His action comedies are lackluster. Bulletproof (8%) and The Do-Over (9%) didn’t win him many points. That’s why Jacked Up features an action-centered plot.
  • His films featuring him as a married man have a 29% Tomatometer average. Movies featuring him as a single man have a 38% Average. Thus, the marriage to himself (think Jack & Jill) is included. It’s a double whammy
  • I picked Tim Herlihy to write because he wrote The Ridiculous Six, Grown Ups 2 and Pixels (8% average). I do love his Happy Gilmore, Billy Madison, The Wedding Singer and The Waterboy scripts though
  • His PG-13 (29%) rated films have a lower Tomatometer average than his R (51%) and PG-rated (45%) films. For Netflix, M rating = R and TV-14 = PG-13
  • I included a pool because in Airheads he is a pool cleaner who thinks about swimming pools. Also, Grown Ups, The Do-Over, Jack and Jill feature swimming pools. They have low scores.
  • Movies that feature Sandler doing a voice have a lower Tomatometer score (24.8%) than his regular voiced roles (36%).
  • None of his Fresh films feature a jet ski – 50 first Dates (45%), Jack & Jill (3%) and You Don’t Mess with the Zohan (37%) are all Rotten
  • In The Ridiculous Six, Grown Ups, The Do-Over, and Bulletproof he plays a totally capable man who isn’t an underdog like he is in Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore. So, he can’t be a doofus during the action scenes.
  • Randomly enough, Rob Schneider shouldn’t adopt some kind of stereotyped character because his makeup-less roles have a lower Tomatometer average (27.6%) than his stereotyped roles (32%).
  • His lowest rated movies on IMDb are Going Overboard (1.5), Jack & Jill (3.3), The Ridiculous 6 (4.8), Sandy Wexler (5.1) and The Week Of (5.1) – These movies feature water exploits, gun fights, weird voices, two Sandlers, and large gatherings. These things are all in Jacked Up.
  • *Bulletproof (*$25 million), Little Nicky ($39 million) and Blended ($46 million) are a few of his lowest grossing comedies. In these films, he uses a wild voice, goes on vacations and engages in action shenanigans. I left out movies like Spanglish and Reign Over Me because they aren’t traditional Sandler comedies. Also, Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore weren’t huge earners. However, they established him as a force of nature.
  • His first or last name couldn’t begin with an “R” – Howard Ratner (Uncut Gems), Henry Roth (50 First Dates), Robbie Hart (The Wedding Singer).

WHAT DOES THE POSTER NEED TO LOOK LIKE?

  • He cannot be centered on the poster. His best films Punch Drunk Love, Happy Gilmore, Funny People and Uncut Gems feature him centered on the poster. The Wedding Singer, Reign Over Me and The Meyerowitz Stories don’t have him centered. However, the movie posters that have centered have a 48% Tomatometer Average. The Posters that have him on the left have a 30% Tomatometer average. I’m going with that.

He is rarely centered in his worst movies.

  • There needs to be multiple people on the poster. When Sandler is alone on a poster, his movies have a 42% Tomatometer average. The movie posters with 4+ people have a 20% Tomatometer average. More is good.
  • In this poster he needs to be holding something random. In The Cobbler poster he is holding a coffee cup (this is important) and the movie has an 8% Tomatometer score. In The Wedding Singer (microphone) and Happy Gilmore (golf club) and The Waterboy (bucket, helmet) he is holding items related to his character. He needs to be holding something weird (like a can of sponsored coca-cola). Also, the posters that feature him holding an item (31%) have a lower Tomatometer score than the posters featuring him not holding anything (42%).
  • It’s best if his entire body is on the poster. The movie posters featuring a full-bodied Adam Sandler have a lower Tomatometer average (31%) than his partial body posters (43%).
  • Ideally, the title would be in the center, because Jack & Jill and The Ridiculous Six have somewhat centered titles.

Poster

  • Title centered
  • Sandler(s) on left side – Full body
  • At least six other characters on the poster
  • He needs to be holding something that has nothing to do with his charcter

There you have it! I can’t wait to watch Jacked Up.

Click on the MFF data tab to see more of my dumb data!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 17, 2020 3:44 pm

    This dedication to the Sandlerverse is everything

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