How did it get this far? Where did Sandler go wrong? Adam Sandler started out as a stand up comedienne, and then eventually landed a gig on Saturday Night Live in 1990, and lasted on the show for five years. Sandler's most memorable moments on the show were the opera guy and his Chanukah song on Weekend Update; he was part of a few memorable skits like the gap girls, but was never seen as a massive scene stealer (in my opinion).
While on Saturday Night Live, Sandler landed supporting roles in films like Coneheads (1993), and Mixed Nuts (1993); he also made three of his biggest career roles Billy Madison (1995) , Airheads (1994), and Happy Gilmore (1996. Billy Madison gained more of a following in a post theatrical release world, the film only grossed 25 million. Happy Gilmore made only 38 million dollars, but together these films were magic for young Sandler. These two films combined were like making Captain Planet. Alone each film was like a separate ring, sure Billy Madison could control earth like Kwami, but together these two films were potent, and made something even better. I think the best part about these two films was that even though both of them were stupid they were fresh, and funny. Sandler does not always appear to try to hard; he doesn't need to, but there was heart, and it seemed as though he cared.
After 1996 Sandler's career took off. In 1998 he made my personal favorite film The Wedding Singer, the film is funny, there is a lot of heart, and he has great chemistry with Drew Barrymore. The film also made 80 million dollars. Sandler's box office take doubled, and the quality of his films improved. 1998 proved to Sandler's most successful year of his early career in the 90s. Sandler released The Waterboy his largest grossing film at the time which made 161 million dollars proving his entire box office intake that year to be 240 million domestically. What a great year. Although The Waterboy is terrible.
After 1998 year after year Sandler released a new film; he has become a machine churning out different things Big Daddy (1999), Little Nicky (2000), Punch-Drunk Love (2002), Mr. Deeds (2002), Eight Crazy Nights (2002), Anger Management (2003), Spanglish (2004), 50 First Dates (2004), The Longest Yard (2005), Click (2006), Reign Over Me (2007), I Know Pronounce you Chuck and Larry (2007), You Don't Mess with the Zohan (2008), Bedtime Stories (2008), Funny People (2009), Grown Ups (2010), Just Go with it (2011), Jack and Jill (2011). 18 films in 14 years, what an impressive feat, the problem is that most of these films are pretty terrible. So in reality Sandler has continued to push shlock on the masses for years. Even when you think people are walking away his films; he makes something that pulls them back.
So why now? Why do I think enough is enough? I like Adam Sandler; he is funny, and has talent. As he films get even closer to the bottom rung I can't help but think he is ruining his own brand. Sandler has his own production company,Happy Madison, and the films he makes are usually pretty cheap to make. I like that he changed things up with Punch-Drunk Love, and Funny People; he was also great in both films. I would like to see him at least balance out his Jack and Jill type movies with more films that showcase his talent better like Funny People (even though I hated the film). I write this to implore, Adam, please do better, try and think outside of the box, upcoming films like Grown Ups 2, and The Valet just sound like laziness. You have the talent, use it please.