Chicago Tribune critic Michael Phillips on Adam Sandler‘s That’s My Boy: The crowd at the preview screening was unusually vocal, with cries of ‘Nooo!’ and mutterings of ‘Wow’ at each new gross-out attempt. What I didn’t hear was much actual laughter.

“The Sandler character is meant to be enjoyed for his pomposity-deflating boorishness, admired for his skill with the babes, pitied for his attempts at father/son reconciliation. So what do you do if you find yourself hoping the main character will leave his own movie five minutes in?

“More so than Rock of Ages, even, That’s My Boy positions itself as an ‘I Love the ’80s’ special, with supporting roles taken by Vanilla Ice, Tony Orlando and others.

“‘I need a couple hours to fix this,’ Andy Samberg cries at one point. Perilously close to two hours in length itself, That’s My Boy leaves the world a coarser, meaner, more arrogant place than its makers found it. Bring back Jack and Jill.”

Note: I’ve met Sandler a couple of times and he’s doesn’t radiate even a hint of the low-rent commonality that his films are always about. He’s a very sharp, perceptive and even wise fellow who misses nothing. I don’t know how this squares with his being a Republican, but he gives off a good vibe.