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This Is What Happened to the Careers of Kevin James and Taylor Lautner

By Dustin Rowles | Film | December 15, 2021 |

By Dustin Rowles | Film | December 15, 2021 |


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The aughts were good to Kevin James (Hitch, Paul Blart), and Taylor Lautner (the Twilight movies, Abduction), but both have seen their careers fade considerably in the last decade. They’re still making things, just not things that most of us have seen. Kevin James starred in two seasons of Kevin Can Wait before it was canceled; one season of The Crew for Netflix before it was canceled; and last year, he had a YouTube series (?) where he played the Sound Guy, inserting himself into various movies like so:

I will grant, however, that I did like him in Becky, where he played a Nazi villain.

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Lautner, meanwhile, has been relegated largely to bit parts in Happy Madison productions, although he did star in a popular British series starring Greg Davies, replacing Andy Samberg after the first season due to Samberg’s scheduling conflicts with Brooklyn Nine-Nine. I love Greg Davies, but this doesn’t look great:

Thank God for Adam Sandler, who has managed to keep Lautner and James out of the poor house, most recently with Home Team, which is based on a semi-amusing premise. Back in 2012, New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton was suspended for a year after winning the Super Bowl over the Bountygate controversy (paying players to specifically target opposing players for injury). During his year off, Payton decided to be the offensive coordinator for his son’s sixth-grade football team using a simplified version of his Saints playbook. The team did well, losing only in the playoffs to a team that was apparently even better coached (Payton enlisted the aid of Bill Parcells in trying to outmaneuver the opposing team, but fell short).

Happy Madison decided to make a movie out of that experience, bringing in a lot of its regulars, including James (as Payton); Lautner as the coach of the team; Sandler’s wife, Jackie; and unfortunately Rob Schneider. I’m a sucker for a sports film, especially one based on a true story, but this one? It looks awful. I also can’t for the life of me understand why anyone thinks he looks unrecognizable as Payton. He looks exactly like Kevin James.

Here’s the trailer:

Home Team arrives on Netflix on January 28th.



Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.



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