The 10 Worst Happy Madison Films
10. Just Go With It: It’s cynical, soulless filmmaking and Happy Madison has become the assembly line for it. Sandler lines up a fading star with some residual face recognition, calls up all his friends, finds a nice location, fucks around for three weeks, and pays an editor to splice together the best takes and score it to Police’s greatest hits.That poor fucking monkey. It’s an agonizing, horrible, lazy, incompetent joyless movie. The performances are non-existent, save for Kidman’s poor stabs at over-the-top humor. They stand on their marks and essentially improvise the phone book. Brooklyn Decker flashes a few smiles and wears a bikini while Sandler stands around with his tongue hanging out of his mouth until Aniston gets caught in his drool and everyone lives happily ever after, except anyone who is subjected to the results.
9. Grown Ups: Congratulations, Adam Sandler! After a decade or so of trying in earnest, you’ve finally achieved what must be your ultimate goal: to make a completely unwatchable movie. The problems in the past — and the reasons that your movies have been mostly unwatchable instead of completely unwatchable — have finally been eradicated. Turns out that before you were trying too hard. In Grown Ups, you’ve finally figured out the formula: Don’t try at all! It’s brilliant! All that effort is what’s been holding you back all these years. As it turns out, laziness really is the best way accomplish the lifelong pursuit that has eluded you until now.
8. I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry: Are you like me? Are you tired of the sudden growth of films that treat homosexuals as actual people with actual, complex emotions? Isn’t it disgusting? It’s vile, right? Hetero-torture porn. I mean the way, for instance, that Brokeback Mountain depicted two men not only falling in love with one another, but actually doing the anal tango? Blech! It’s an affront to God-fearing breeders like you and me, am I right? Can you believe the studios are cramming that shit down our throats? Subjecting us to an immoral, heathenistic lifestyle? Seriously: I think I just threw up in my sphincter a little. It’s uncalled for — the plumbing just doesn’t work. If God wanted men to use the rear door, he would’ve stitched on an ass labia. Am I right? There’s a reason God invented AIDS, and it wasn’t so that cubicle monkeys could guilt you into ponying up $5 to sponsor a co-worker’s effort to walk around a track a few miles and wear a pretty ribbon. (Clearly, the walk-a-thon industry was behind the spread of the disease). That’s why a movie like I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry is so refreshing in today’s studio marketplace. It’s a classic comedy throwback to films like the side-splittingly funny Boat Trip or bit characters in Bruckheimer films, like Anthony Clark’s gay hairdresser in The Rock.
7. Benchwarmers: Here is the crux of what you need to know about Benchwarmers: The opening scene features Clark (Jon Heder), a newspaper delivery boy who, after his bicycle breaks down, carries on a conversation with Gus (Rob Schneider) while he roots around in his nose for a good 30 seconds before pulling out a goddamn nose goblin, and instead of flicking it, as Gus suggested, he 1) smells it, and 2) pops it into his maw. Cut to scene number two: Before the chubby son of Mel (Jon Lovitz) is kicked off the baseball field by the local teenaged bullies, they strap him down to the ground and provide him with some “beef stew,” and by beef stew, I mean another fat kid sits over his face and farts, to which Mel’s son replies, “It didn’t taste as bad as I thought it would.” Good night, everyone! Thanks for coming out. Have a safe trip home.
6. Grandma’s Boy: How the hell am I supposed to look past the fact that the lead character (42-year-old Allen Covert) in Grandma’s Boy goes into a bathroom and jerks off to a goddamn Barbie doll … and then ejaculates all over an unsuspecting walker-in, or that a type of marijuana noted for its abilities to make you “shit your pants” is discussed while a monkey performs martial arts, or even that a 20-something-year-old guy fucks Shirley Partridge/Jones after she gets into the technicalities of giving Charlie Chaplin a hand-job. Seriously, people, how fucking obtuse do you have to be to find enjoyment in a gamer-geek who tries to pick up the ladies with robot-speak? It’s not funny, and I don’t care how many short buses you rode on as a kid; it would take an unearthly amount of pot to have you believe for even a few seconds that Grandma’s Bboy has more entertainment value than does a herniated disc. It’s obscenely bad. It’s Manos: The Hands of Fate without all the plot intricacies; it’s a snuff film without the snuff; it’s a goddamn alcohol-free hangover that pounds … and pounds … and pounds. …
5. You Don’t Mess with the Zohan: Well, thank God for You Don’t Mess with the Zohan. Just like how every woman (and gay man) on the face of the Earth, without exception, loved “Sex and the City,” Zohan is a real guy’s guy movie. What does TBS call ‘em? Movie’s for guys who like movies? Well, that’s me! And let me tell you fellas, if you got a swinging dick and two spunk-spitting midgets between your legs, Zohan is the movie for you. It is a typical dumb man’s movie, and since all men are morons, all men, without exception, are going to love it. And boy is it retarted! It’s not too often I can not only turn my brain off, but also unplug the sumbitch and still understand what’s going on most of the time. And that’s the glory of Zohan. You ain’t gotta have more than 3 brain cells to enjoy it — one to buy the movie ticket, one to find your seat, and the other to scratch your Richard whenever Emmanuelle Chriqui comes on the screen. Better still, you don’t even need this review to know if you oughta see it or not. All you gotta do is ask yourself one simple question: Are you a member of the homo saypenis? If you are, then you’re guaranteed to love this movie, just like you love football, huntin’, NASCAR, and playing with yourself.
4. Zookeeper: I can’t pinpoint exactly what it was that caused me to black out, but I suspect it had something to do with the obscene product placement, the ’70s classic rock that permeates through all of Happy Madison’s films (seriously, is Kansas on his speed dial?), or the deafening silence of a movie theater full of children, young teenagers and parents who must have thought that they’d never experience laughter again. Or maybe it was just the tidal wave of stupidity and laziness crashing down on me from the big screen that knocked me out. It could have simply been the confluence of all those factors, combined with the level of disgust I had for what supposedly passes for entertainment. Or it could have just been my body’s natural defense mechanism shutting me down to spare me from further torture.
3. Strange Wilderness: Strange Wilderness could be the least enjoyable film Happy Madison Productions has ever spewed from its poisonous and learning-impaired bowels. It’s not the most outright disgusting — that honor has to go to Grandma’s Boy, which featured a grown man who should know better masturbating to a Barbie doll and then chancing to fling the ejaculate onto his friend’s mother. That’s enough to make Strange Wilderness, which features men making themselves puke into a shark’s mouth, almost tame by comparison. But Strange Wilderness is so dumb, so aimless, so plotless, and just so plain unfunny that it made me long for the days of Allen Covert rubbing one out to an action figure. It’s so poorly plotted and badly written that pretending it’s an actual comedy, let alone attempting to derive any meaning from the film, would be an exercise in futility that would drive even the strongest of men to drink themselves into an early grave. It’s the worst kind of stoner comedy, one that would require you to be just blasted out of your mind to laugh at any of it.
2. Deuce Bigelow: European Gigolo: Stand back and take notice, Hollywood, because on August 12, 2005, cinematic history was made: The artists behind Deuce Bigelow: European Gigolo have ushered in the next level of greatness, providing moviegoers everywhere with the opportunity to experience pure, unadulterated celluloid magnificence. Indeed, the first of what I can only hope will be many, many Deuce Bigelow sequels may just be the finest movie of this generation, or any other for that matter; I have no doubt that the American Film Institute will need to reshuffle its top 100 after today, knocking Citizen Kane down a notch to make room for Rob Schneider’s magnum opus atop the list. So rarely has a movie left this critic at a loss, yet I simply cannot find the words to describe the joy that is watching European Gigolo. It is a tightly packed 85 minutes that rivals the finest works of Billy Wilder, Alfred Hitchcock, and even the celebrated Brian Levant, who brought us such classics as Are We There Yet?, Problem Child 2, and Cuba Gooding’s career-maker, Snow Dogs.
1. Bucky Larson: Born to be a Star: Somewhere around the 20 minute mark of Bucky Larson, the neurons stopped firing in my brain. By the forty-fifth minute, I’d lost feeling in my legs. At the hour mark, I was startled awake by a laugh from the back corner of the theater; I didn’t even realize there was someone else in the screening. I wanted to stand up, walk back, and punch that man in the throat for encouraging Nick Swardson, even psychically. But I didn’t want to be seen, and besides, when I turned around, I noticed that he was laughing at something on his phone. I should’ve known. It couldn’t have been Bucky Larson because Bucky Larson is laugh repellent. If the essence of Bucky Larson could be bottled, the perfume would be called, “You’re a Fucking Idiot for Buying This.”