Movie Reviews

One Of Adam Sandler's Best Comedies Is Now On Netflix & I'm Shocked By Its 39% RT Score

Summary

  • Adam Sandler’s “Big Daddy” is now streaming on Netflix, a heartwarming comedy where he plays an unlikely father.
  • Despite negative Rotten Tomatoes score, the film was a box office hit and paved the way for Sandler’s later down-to-earth characters.
  • Big Daddy’s 39% critic score doesn’t reflect audience sentiment, as it’s a feel-good movie with heart and humor, showcasing Sandler’s versatile acting talents.



One of the best Adam Sandler comedies ever made is now on Netflix despite its negative Rotten Tomatoes score. Sandler, who has gotten more into dramatic roles in recent years with his leading performances in films such as Uncut Gems (2019), Hustle (2022), and Spaceman (2024), is still celebrated for his timeless comedy classics such as Happy Gilmore (1996), The Waterboy (1998), and Billy Madison (1995). Sandler has several upcoming movies in both the dramatic and comedy genre including an untitled Noah Baumbach film, an untitled Safdie Brothers project, and a Happy Gilmore sequel.

While Sandler has been known to star in some pretty lousy movies over the years, he is still able to pull in a massive audience at the age of 57. The best Adam Sandler movies include some of his older comedy classics as well as his critically acclaimed dramas such as Paul Thomas Anderson’s Punch Drunk Love (2002). Despite all of his success as both a comedic and dramatic actor, Sandler has interestingly never expressed interest in directing one of his own feature films, which other comedic legends such as Jerry Seinfeld have recently begun doing. He did, however, co-write several original screenplays including his 1999 comedy Big Daddy.



Big Daddy Is Now Streaming On Netflix – What It’s About

Sandler plays an unlikely father in a heartwarming comedy

Big Daddy is now officially available to stream on Netflix twenty-five years after it was first released. Sandler plays Sonny Koufax, a likable but lazy law school graduate who adopts a kid to impress his girlfriend, which ends up backfiring and ultimately changing Sonny’s life in meaningful ways. The film was released in theaters on June 25, 1999. roughly seven months after The Waterboy first came out. Thanks to Sandler’s star power, Big Daddy was a box office smash, earning just under $235 million worldwide against a production budget of $34.2 million and becoming one of his highest-grossing movies.


Big Daddy features Jon Stewart in a supporting actor role as well as Joey Lauren Adams of Dazed and Confused (1993) and Chasing Amy (1997) acclaim. It also has Leslie Mann, Rob Schneider, and both Dylan and Cole Sprouse making their feature film debuts. Both Sprouse twins played the same role of Julian ‘Frankenstein’ McGrath, the adorable yet trouble-loving kid that Sandler’s Sonny takes up for adoption. While Sonny finds it difficult at first to adjust to being a father, especially considering his self-serving intentions for taking him in in the first place, he ends up loving Julian and surprisingly becomes a great and supportive dad.

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Why Big Daddy’s Rotten Tomatoes Score Is So Low

The film has a critic score of just 39%

Adam Sandler and Cole Sprouse on the street in Big Daddy

Big Daddy
would actually pave the way for some of Sandler’s later down-to-earth characters such as Michael Newman in
Click
(2006) and George Simmons in
Funny People
(2009).

Although Big Daddy was a box office hit that was beloved by millions, earning a 74% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, the film was torn apart by critics. David Ansen of Newsweek wrote in his review of Big Daddy, “Amiable, schizoid and disposable, Big Daddy is just as formulaic as you might imagine.” Legendary film critic Roger Ebert said of the film, “Big Daddy should be reported to the child welfare office.” Edward Guthmann of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote in his review, “Worst of all is the way Sandler wants to have it both ways: to muck around in gross-out humor one minute and then turn schmaltzy the next minute with some fraudulent business about how much he loves the kid.”


Big Daddy’s 39% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes doesn’t reflect the sentiments of the implications of the film’s audience reviews and its undeniable box office success. While critics were less than impressed with Sandler’s role compared to some of his previous leading characters, the film portrays Sandler in a more natural light without having to put on his typical over-the-top display of ridiculousness as seen in The Waterboy and Billy Madison. Big Daddy would actually pave the way for some of Sandler’s later down-to-earth characters, such as Michael Newman in Click (2006) and George Simmons in Funny People (2009).

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Why Big Daddy Is Better Than Its Reviews Suggest

The film is a great combo of heart and humor

Sonny (Adam Sandler) and Julian (Cole Sprouse) sitting in the couch with a helmet in Big Daddy

Big Daddy is really successful as a classic feel-good movie that still has plenty of raunchy humor while being wholesome throughout. Back in 1999, it would have been a great date night movie, which judging by its box office numbers, it was, and it combined both the sweet and sour sides of Sandler’s acting talents in an imperfect but entertaining way. Big Daddy has a lot of heart even if the jokes don’t always land, but Sandler fans like myself definitely get their fill of his usual wild antics and hilarious one-liners. The film was obviously never trying to be anything prestigious or realistic, so the harsh criticism for Big Daddy feels mostly underserved.


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