The Waterboy (1998)
A Film Review
Copyright Dragan Antulov 2005
American critics tend to point towards comedies starring Adam Sandler as one of the signs of decline of Western Civilisation. The author of this review often found those views amusing after watching Adam Sandler in films that were much better than in those apocalyptic visions. However, there are some instances when the critics proved to be right. THE WATERBOY, 1998 comedy directed by Frank Coraci, is one of them.
In this film Adam Sandler plays Bobby Boucher, 31-year old man who spent his entire life with his overprotective mother Helen (played by Kathy Bates) in
THE WATERBOY is based on SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE sketch and it shares the flaw of many such movies. What works in a short scene isn’t enough for a feature film. Sandler and his co-writer Tim Herlihy try to compensate by combining sentimental sports movie clichés with toilet humour and often annoying cultural stereotypes. The result of their efforts is a comedy that would cause more yawns than laughs. When laughs happen, they could be attributed to Adam Sandler’s comedic talent rather than quality of the script. Scenes that work also include Henry Winkler who brilliantly plays protagonist’s emotionally insecure mentor. The rest of the cast is disappointing – Fairuza Balk is forgettable in the obligatory role of protagonist’s romantic interest and same can be said of otherwise dependable Kathy Bates as hyperventilating Mrs. Boucher.
THE WATERBOY had good results at American box office but they are usually attributed to the STAR WARS fans eager to see trailer for upcoming PHANTOM MENACE. Today, when it can be watched only by its own merit, THE WATERBOY is a disappointment, even by standards associated with Adam Sandler’s work.
RATING: 3/10 (+)
Review written on February 27th 2005