[box cover]

Big Daddy

In his first film since breaking into superstardom with The Waterboy, comic Adam Sandler finds himself teetering dangerously close to the precipice of seriousness that has swallowed many a wayward comedian. Although Big Daddy returns to the wild, random, boisterous absurdity that paid off in Sandler's earlier films, it also veers into awkward territory. Big Daddy is rife with a deadly precious sentimentality, as Sandler plays a lazy loser who tries to force maturity upon himself by adopting a child (played by twins Cole and Dylan Sprouse). Despite some of Sandler's funniest work, this is, alas, a learning movie, and in the hands of pedestrian director Dennis Dugan, that only means a cringe-inducing lesson in failure. Hopefully it will teach Sandler — and most other comedians aching for dramatic roles — to stick to laughs from now on. Also with John Stewart, Joey Lauren Adams, Kristi Swanson, Rob Schneider, and Steve Buscemi. Good transfer (1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen), DD 5.1 or Dolby Surround 2.0, HBO featurette, music videos by Sheryl Crow and Garbage.
—Gregory P. Dorr

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