Sandy Wexler (2017) Review

director: Steven Brill

writers: Adam Sandler, Paul Sado & Dan Bulla

starring: Adam Sandler, Jessica Hudson and Kevin James

genre: Comedy | Romance

released: 14 April 2017 on Netflix

The Adam Sandler Netflix content continues with his best Netflix film yet. Showing that Sandler can make a good film if his heart is in the right place and his slapstick, low brow humor doesn't get the better of him.

story:

Sandy Wexler (Adam Sandler) may not be the best talent manager in the business, but his reputation precedes him. Taking on his client's problems to heart and forgetting his own in the process. The client though that will trump all others and make him lose it will be the lovable Courtney Clarke (Jennifer Hudson). With her by his side, Sandy will become a new man, but one that will have to finally address the issues he's faced with his clients and his personal friends if he's ever going to be truly happy and successful.

thoughts:

When Adam Sandler makes a film that goes for the personal story that has moments people can relate to and where the jokes don't go too far into the realm of the absurd, you will have yourself a property that people can not only gravitate to, but also recommend. In his previous film the 'Do Over' we were able to gravitate to it because we could identify with the main characters disappointments in life and the allure of what one would do to change his life if given the chance. With Sandy Wexler its about a guy that is such a workaholic, people pleaser that he forgets to enjoy the finer things in life and actually also connect with the people around him.

That is why when you focus in on character moments within a film the rest usually will fall into place and when some of the jokes happen to fall into the category of the absurd it can be forgiven. One good example is the 'Evil Knievel' character in the film and his consistent encountering of birds mid air of his stunt jumps. Not particularly funny when the bird hits him as its overly simplistic and a joke you can see from a mile away, but the aftermath is where the comedy gold lies. Not to mention Sandler's main character that grows on you and makes you forget about the ridiculous laughter and clapping as the film progresses, but then surprisingly makes you actually by the end of the film get happy when he does it.

Nevertheless, this is still a Adam Sandler film and they are absurd jokes still in there that are not of any level of sophistication. Although, truth be told, none of them reach 'Grown Ups 2' or 'Jack and Jill' status of stupidity and annoyance. As some of the jokes end up being top notch and you won't see them coming. With the best one maybe being the board meeting with Sandy and the Puppet master later in the film. In general, the issue with Sandler's films isn't that the people in them aren't talented. The problem is that there is a barometer for humor and their's is quite low most of the time, which is also the case with their target audience, but also because they have already reached that point in their careers of proving themselves to the comedy and the cinema world. See Al Pacino and Robert De Niro's acting careers for a great example on the dramatic side of things and you will fully understand my point.

Yet, the comedy isn't what holds this film ultimately together, it's the strong love story between Sandy and Courtney Clarke. Both unlucky individuals that through each other find success, have a good chemistry and see the best in each other, despite their many flaws. Additionally, the love story itself is fairly simplistic, but through the peculiar characters, funny events and humor, it accomplishes to do much more than you would expect. From shedding light on darker paths of fame and how we as people bury ourselves in work and excess to forget what's good and valuable in life either purposefully or because of the events in our lives organically. That is why the ultimate message of the film is to surround yourself with familiar faces and people who actually care about your state of mind, instead of only your cash potential.

verdict:

Films like 'Sandy Wexler' I always say aren't for everybody, but at the same time they actually are. As their simplicity opens them up to a wider range of individuals and the capacity to view them doesn't require much effort or thought. Nonetheless, many will still have a snobbish attitude towards them and to a point with good reason, but they still do miss the point of these films entirely and who their target demographic is. Which news flash isn't you. 

Personal Rating

3.5 Stars.jpg

review by Paul Katsaros

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