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The Waterboy (1998)

DVD Cover (Buena Vista Home Entertainment)
Genres:
Comedy, Slapstick
Director:
Frank Coraci Frank Coraci
Starring:
Adam Sandler Adam Sandler
Kathy Bates Kathy Bates
Henry Winkler Henry Winkler
Fairuza Balk Fairuza Balk
Jerry Reed Jerry Reed

5.9 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Bobby Boucher is a water boy for a struggling college football team. The coach discovers Boucher's hidden rage makes him a tackling machine whose bone-crushing power might vault his team into the playoffs. --TMDb
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Review by bluemeanie
Added: August 16, 2007
In 2007, Adam Sandler defied all previously known logic and turned in a measured and heartfelt performance in the motion picture "Reign Over Me", which cast him opposite Oscar nominee Don Cheadle and under the helm of Mike Binder, director. It was the performance we always knew Adam Sandler had in him -- not totally unlike himself, but with a new level of commitment to character and emotional depth. It made me almost forget about this film from 1998, the tepid and wholly ridiculous "The Waterboy". This was the first film I ever walked out of, and only later saw it in its entirety on DVD, when it was released. True -- I had a severe cold the night I walked out, but I would have likely done so without the help of mother nature and my immune deficiency.

The film is like every other film that has come before it. A backwoods Louisiana farm boy with a speech impediment, Bobby Boucher (Adam Sandler) is fired from the winning football team and must take on a water boy position at a new college, which is led by Coach Klein (Henry Winkler). Soon, however, everyone discovers that Bobby is a damned fine football player, as long as someone can get him angry enough. The rest of the film is people trying to make him angry so he'll play better. The film comes to a head with...of course...the big game. We know exactly what is going to happen there, don't we? Kathy Bates co-stars as Bobby's over-protective mother, who enjoys serving cooked anaconda to her guests.

This film is so predictable, it hurts. We know what's going to happen before it happens, and when it does happen, it seems like we've been there before...a million times or more. Adam Sandler is abysmal here, as he tries, almost embarrassingly so, to provide a speech impediment that he hopes will be funny. It is not. It's shameful. The humor he evokes with this character is more out of pity than anything else, and not in a good way. Henry Winkler has some humorous moments as the coach with zero self-confidence, but even he seems stunted. Praise to the great Kathy Bates for taking her characters and going balls-to-the-wall. That was the problem -- Sandler and Winkler seemed to be too tame for their own material. Kathy Bates went off the wall into American Gothic with hers and manages to extract almost 100% of the humor -- she is the only truly funny thing in this pile.

It's common knowledge -- I don't find Adam Sandler funny. "Happy Gilmore" made me laugh, but primarily due to Bob Barker and Christopher McDonald. He has this habit of playing these one note characters and hitting those notes too loudly throughout. He becomes annoying to soon and you can't root for him to win. A comedic actor like Jim Carrey knows how to play his comedy like an instrument and strum it slowly when he has to and then start rocking out when the time calls for him to do so. Adam Sandler is in a corner somewhere, playing an oboe and hitting the same damned note, over and over again. "The Waterboy" is a bad movie, but Kathy Bates makes it better than it should be. You've probably already seen it. I'm sorry for that. It gets 2/10 just for the fact that Kathy Bates is a goddess and made me laugh occasionally.
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Optimus Prime #1: Optimus Prime - added 08/17/2007, 12:43 AM
I don't know why but I really like the Water Boy when it came out. I just loved Adam Sandler as Bobby Boucher
Vash #2: Vash - added 08/17/2007, 10:10 PM
man, if you personally don't like adam sandler movies, then what's the point of reviewing them? everyone knows they follow a formula. that's like reviewing an ac/dc record and complaining that all the songs sound the same. comparing him to fucking jim carrey, whose shtick has remained the same since fucking in living color [and don't bring up "eternal sunshine" or any of his serious roles, please] doesn't exactly hold weight. everything sandler's done since like 2000 has blown, but this was hilarious. what's the point of reviewing a movie from 98 if you don't even like the dude? most people have seen this movie anyway and forgotten about it.
doney #3: doney - added 08/18/2007, 01:47 AM
i thought it was a good movie until i read the 1960's play "And The Big Men Fly", which this movie completely ripped off.
bluemeanie #4: bluemeanie - added 08/18/2007, 01:45 PM
What's the point? It's what I do, that's the point. And just because Adam Sandler always plays one note characters doesn't mean someone doesn't need to hold his feet to the fire. I don't personally like James Bond movies either, but I still review them and happened to think "Casino Royale" was pretty decent. And why not bring up Jim Carrey? It's a fair comparison. Sandler has tried his hand at dramas the same as Carrey has, but has not been nearly as successful because Sandler is still, essentially, playing one note characters -- just one note characters with a little more depth. Carrey has a wide range as an actor, evident by films like "Man On the Moon", "The Truman Show" and, hell, even "The Majestic" to some extent. What's the point of reviewing a film from 1998? For that matter, what's the point of reviewing a film from any year? What's the point of reviews, for that matter? I reviewed the film because my favorite actress, Kathy Bates, is in it. And what a coincidence she happens to be the best thing about it. But, I guess there's no point to saying that. Pssh.
Lucid Dreams #5: Lucid Dreams - added 11/22/2010, 03:31 AM
This is probably my favorite film by him. It's so fucking stupid, but I just have a guilty pleasure for it and I loved it when that old man had the baseball thrown at his temple. 8/10
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