by Nile Fortner
Adam Sandler and Chris Rock star in the Netflix Original film The Week Of which reunites the two former Saturday Night Live mega-stars. This is a movie coming from Adam Sandler and it’s part of Sandler’s eight-picture deal with Netflix.
Adam Sandler’s eight-picture deal with Netflix has been mostly negative with the exception of The Meyerowitz Stories, where Adam Sandler shines along with his co-stars Ben Stiller, Emma Thompson, and Dustin Hoffman. The Meyerowitz Stories showed viewers that Sandler has range as an actor and can show us a new side that we do not see very often. It took Sandler out of his comfort zone and away from the mediocre to just straight-up bad material that we’ve been getting from him over the last few years. Unfortunately, The Week Of is Sandler going back to his comfort zone and bad material.
The official synopsis for the film is, “Two fathers (Adam Sandler and Chris Rock) with opposing personalities come together to celebrate the wedding of their children. They are forced to spend the longest week of their lives together, and the big day cannot come soon enough.”
For starters, I think it’s neat that Adam Sandler and Chris Rock are working side-by-side again and I actually enjoyed them in the The Longest Yard remake. It’s just that when the two characters are on screen, they go for the predictable laughs, and tired plots we’ve seen before. The two actors work well together and seem like really good friends. However, their characters are written in a way that plays out like a Saturday Night Live sketch that goes on too long.
The film is written by Sandler and SNL TV Funhouse writer Robert Smigel. Smigel, who is also the director, seems to be going for the easy bland predictable plot with Sandler. The tired plot in films of culture-clash, mixed-race, and the wedding doesn’t go as planned comedies. This is what I mean when I say Sandler stays in his comfort zone and goes for the easy targets.
This is Sandler’s fourth Netflix and Happy Madison Productions movie and I think Netflix is where Adam Sandler should stay. If this were in theaters, it would get chewed up and spit out worse than it already has been. Former SNL cast member, Rachel Dratch, and Steve Buscemi also star in this flick, but they seem so bored while their characters only feel written into the script because they are friends of Sandler and Rock. Literally, they add nothing to the overall story. Buscemi plays the kooky cousin to Sandler, where his best “comedic” material is eating a human size chocolate candy bar.
For a comedy, this film has very few laughs and the film just drags, it’s a mess, and the film feels so damn boring. While watching this, I kept checking my watch and wanted to check my phone for anything because this movie is dull. Phone conversations are usually kept short and sweet in movies because they are not very exciting for a viewer to see. On the other hand, this film is at least 70 percent of crammed family members in a home, yelling, and Sandler saying badly written dialogue over the phone and doting around from scene to scene. It’s a million conversations going on at once and all these family members in a tight setting make viewers feel nauseated and claustrophobic.
The director, Robert Smigel, seems as if he doesn’t know what to do with the camera and camera shots. There are very bland shots throughout this entire flick and the camera work is just as bland as the script.
The film doesn’t even address or seem to care to write a better story for our characters. For a movie about a couple getting married, we don’t know anything about the couple or why we should care about them.
The movie could have focused on race relations in our society, among other issues where the film could have a message behind the entertainment. I mean for God’s sake, how did this couple even meet? Sandler’s character has financial issues, while Rock’s character is a wealthy Manhattan surgeon. Maybe the film could have also used that as a message or part of the story on what it’s like to marry someone in a different class. Any other option than what we were given of doting back and forth scene to scene on the phone, being ditzy, or whatever would have been an improvement over this movie.
The pace of this film is also a stinker and fails miserably. There isn’t any real build up towards tension, character development, and this makes the story move slowly and a painful process to get through. When a film is over, and your first thought is, “Thank God that’s over”, you know you’ve been through bad stuff.
In this confused pile of a comedy, I did enjoy one character, World War II veteran Uncle Seymour, played by Jim Barone. He feels like a character from Sandler’s older films like Billy Madison or The Waterboy. Uncle Seymour plays a vet who lost his legs and the family toss him around like a sack of potatoes. It’s a chuckle at best.
Similarly, I enjoy when the credits roll up and we get Sandler and Rock talking together on the porch. It shows that the two have great chemistry and this is what made them stars. It actually does show some character development, but when the end credits are rolling, it’s too little too late.
I don’t hate Sandler, and growing up, I did enjoy his films. But the guy just doesn’t seem to care about quality writing, characters, or stories anymore. It’s as if all his passion was sucked out of him. I want to see Sandler be bold and grow in a new direction. That doesn’t mean he has to stop doing comedy movies, he just needs to find that passion again, and this film has absolutely no passion behind it. I believe The Week Of earns a…
2 out of 5 Hairpieces!