If you’re a twenty-something like me, you grew up on Adam Sandler classics such as Billy Madison and The Wedding Singer. He’s been the comedic voice of my generation — the Bill Murray for millennials. And Sandler’s career has seemed to grow with us from comedies with ridiculous concepts to a few serious flicks to a stand-up routine showcasing his love of music sprinkled with his callous, yet innocent, comedy. As a Sandler fan, here are my top five favorite movies starring the 52-year-old comedian to get ready for his show at Connor Palace Feb. 7 that is a part of his 100% Fresher tour.
1.) The Waterboy, 1998
Adam Sandler takes on a new character, and voice, as Bobby Boucher Jr. in this comedic sports flick. Boucher is the enthusiastic water boy for a well-regarded Florida college football team, but gets fired and moves to a much lesser team in the midst of a losing streak. After tackling a player who, like the rest of the team, teases him about his water technician job, Boucher shines as the new linebacker and leads the team to championship contenders. I was only four years old when this flick came out, but through high school, it made me feel a little better about being picked on for my shyness and big metal braces that gave me a little lisp sort of like Boucher’s. But more than that, this movie gave us a phrase that rings out at every football game or moment that needs a little encouragement — “You can do it!"
2.) 50 First Dates, 2004
My love expectations were sky-high as a 10 year old after seeing this film at the local drive-in. Sandler, a marine biologist who travels to Hawaii, meets Lucy, played by Drew Barrymore, at a local restaurant. He catches her attention on the first day, but when she doesn’t remember him the next day, he finds out that a car crash left her with severe short-term memory loss. But that didn’t stop him from proving his love by going against her family’s wishes and helping her come to terms with her diagnosis each day, rather than pretending each day is the day of her accident. The film has the perfect amount of aww moments dashed with Sandler’s comedic back-and-forth with Lucy’s steroid-addicted brother Doug. Plus, Sandler’s ukulele love song rivals his best musical moments in Wedding Singer and as a cast member on Saturday Night Live.
3.) Click, 2006
Still with it's funny moments, Click gave us a whole heap of realness from Sandler. Playing a workaholic architect, Sandler tries to balance making his boss happy and being present with his family. While searching a department store for a universal remote, a quirky salesman offers him a remote that allows him to control his life. He fast-forwards or mutes through arguments with his wife and boring times, he even jumps to the part where he gets a promotion at work. But when he sees the future with his kids grown up and his wife married to someone else, he realized it all happened when he wasn’t paying attention and just help down fast-forward. This movie taught us to slow down, appreciate what you have and be present in the moments that might not look like much in the bigger picture. At 12 years old, it was a reality check for me to get over that argument with my parents for not letting me paint my room glittery pink, which in hindsight was a great decision on their part.
4.) Punch Drunk Love, 2002
You almost forget you’re watching Sandler in Punch Drunk Love. He plays Barry Egan, a business owner who grew up with seven sisters, no self-esteem and an awkward personality. On a particularly lonely night, Barry calls into an intimate phone hotline and ends up getting into some trouble when the woman he speaks attempts to extort money from him and even sends her henchmen after him. In the midst of that drama, one of his sisters introduces him to one of her friends who ends up loving his thorny vibes. Barry is left to delicately balance his potential soul mate and the mistake of a lonely past life. While there are still hints of Sandler’s quirky self in Barry, this movie shows his acting range and that there’s a lot more to him than just inappropriate humor.
5.) Happy Gilmore, 1996
I can’t stand golf. But I love this movie. Maybe I love it so much because Sandler’s character, Happy Gilmore, hates golf, too. Or maybe it's because my dad forced me to take golf lessons and, to put it nicely, I sucked. Sandler delivers an entertaining tale of the underdog after getting passed up on by the local hockey team, which he yearns to play for, yet again. After discovering his insane ability to hit a golf ball over 400 yards due to a bet, Happy decides to head to the golfing range to swindle some cash out of people. While smacking the ball further than any marker at the range, a former pro sees him and decides to coach him, persuading him with the winnings he could earn that could save Happy’s grandma’s home from being seized by the IRS. Happy butts heads with fellow pro Shooter McGavin (Christopher McDonald) but ends up winning enough fans and polishing up his put enough to beat him in the final championship, getting his grandma’s house back. Arguably Sandler's most popular flick and the funniest golf movie since Caddyshack, this movie is the comedic performance that birthed a thousand memes, ruined a million tee boxes and made Sandler a star. “Don’t push me, Bob, now’s not the time.”