The Week Of movie review: One of Adam Sandler's better films — but that's not saying much
In Hollywood’s inner circles, Adam Sandler’s choice of projects is a long-standing joke, so much so that the man has gone on from being merely a subject for memes to becoming the crown prince for bad comedy. Sandler has made some terribly poor decisions while selecting his scripts, which makes one wonder why Netflix would want to sign him up for a deal that involves a series of unrelated films. However, despite all its flaws, and surprising as it may seem, his latest film The Week Of is not as bad as pundits had thought it would be.
A middle class home-improvement executive named Kenny Lustig is busy preparing for his daughter’s wedding. The bride is white, while the groom is black. The groom’s father, a busy and affluent cardiac surgeon named Dr Kirby Cordice realises that Kenny is struggling to pay for the wedding and offers to pitch in, but Kenny is too proud to accept his help. With dozens of guests descending upon the venue in Long Island, the two dads are now forced to put aside their ethnic, socio-cultural and financial differences aside to make the event a dream wedding.
Director Robert Smigel and Adam Sandler co-write to come up with a script that’s dense with laughs, although the really funny ones are few and far between. The film handles an astonishingly large number of characters, each with his or her own unique quirk. There’s the old war veteran uncle who has lost both his legs to diabetes, but who commands a tremendous amount of respect from those who assume that it was the war that maimed him. There’s a creepy neighbour who had had a fling with the bride several years ago and who now makes it a point to stick around at the wedding, much to her chagrin. There’s a seriously disturbed cousin who is just out of rehab, and who is now to be kept away from a list of items that might trigger a relapse. Then there are two gossiping grandmas who keep the atmosphere alive with the most scandalous of news about the guests. And there’s of course the bride’s best friend who is all too excited about planning the wedding.
Although Sandler almost sleepwalks through the film, there are moments in which he really shines. However, almost all of these moments come at the cost of ethics and logic — often both. Jokes about physical disability and mental disorder are rife, and then there are those with carefully hidden racial undertones. Some jokes are just way too loud, some are crass and vulgar and some are repeated so many times that they cease to be funny anymore. However, among these, there are a few rare moments when Sandler does succeed in connecting with his audience. Consider the moment when the heels of his daughter’s slippers break while walking down the aisle, and being the man who has devoted his entire life for the well-being of his family, he jumps up to help, only to be reminded by his wife that he ought to step back now and let his daughter’s husband help her. It’s a tender moment of warmth, and Sandler handles it with uncharacteristic and welcome grace. But as I said, such moments are rare in the film, which is loud and overacted otherwise — to the extent that it almost comes across as an episode of Saturday Night Live, which is exactly what Smigel used to write for before he was pulled in by Sandler to make the film.
Chris Rock is at his laziest in the role of the groom’s father, and it almost seems like he is doing the film as a personal favour to Sandler. Rachel Dratch — another Saturday Night Live regular — plays the bride’s mother and just as in her parodic skits, she is way too loud and annoyingly one-note for anyone’s comfort. Steve Buscemi plays a loutish uncle with a mannerism that seems straight out of his Fargo days, and despite their unique traits, the rest of the cast comes across as strictly okay.
Overall, it is the lazy performances that fail to capitalise on some potentially funny moments that seem to crop up every now and then. Despite being one of Adam Sandler’s better movies, it is still a rather ordinary film by itself.
The Week Of is currently streaming on Netflix. Watch the trailer here:
Updated Date: Apr 30, 2018 19:48:02 IST