The Waterboy review by Tom Blain
See this movie compete in Jackass Critics Tournament of Sports Movies
I feel I have to say this everytime I review a movie like the Waterboy: I like stupid movies. Give me The Naked Gun. Dumb and Dumber is right up my ally! I even like Adam Sandler movies like Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore. I know they are both the same movie deep down. The village idiot steps it up a notch in order to prove to the world that if he applies himself, he too can be average. These are funny movies to me for some reason; I can eat popcorn, drink a beer or two, and laugh and the dumbest things this world has to offer. Not the Waterboy though. The Waterboy just doesnt cut it.
The Waterboy, Bobby Boucher, is played by Adam Sandler. He is the water maintenance expert at some for the sorry excuse of a football team at a fictitious college in Louisiana (they couldnt afford to pay for Tulanes name apparently). He bumbles around; checking the water to make sure its pure and gets picked on by every football player short of the kicker. One day he snaps, plows over the quarterback, and is signed up as a middle linebacker.
The story follows the formula of all of Sandlers other films. He is a buffoon, who does something right for once, falls in love with a woman along the way and everyone loves him by the end. But for some reason it doesnt make me laugh as much as his other movies. Part of that has to do with his character acting more like the kid that gets picked on rather than the bully. In Happy Gilmore and Billy Madison Sandler plays a vulgar, man-child. He has a mean streak, a strong temper, and is outspokenly brutal. As the waterboy, he is a bit shyer, so when he is not jumping over defensive lines, ripping helmets off, he is more pathetic and less funny.
One other thing I hated were the Cajun and Southern accents done Hollywood style. Few of the accents sounded authentic; at best they were the actors best imitations of what they think is Southern. Everything about the film reeked of Hollywood fakeness. Bobbys house is a movie producers Cajun nightmare. I know I shouldnt take a lot of this stuff seriously, but when there is so little to enjoy about the movie, and while I am not laughing, I want to find something of value in other areas. In this case it only lessened the Waterboy experience more.
Henry Winkler proves why he hasnt had a job since the Fonz. His character is almost as pathetic as Sandlers and its almost more interesting to watch him nostalgically than it is to think of him as the Coach Klein. Faruza Balk played Vicki Vallencourt, Bobbys love interest and she leaves quite a bit to be desired. She is a dirty little piece of white trash with a mouth like the hood of a Cadillac. Her role is that of a convict so I guess its believable but not something I would enjoy. Finally Cathy Bates gives out a few funny lines as Bobbys ultra-protective mother. She refers to football as Fus-ball, which is kinda catchy when you are at a bar with your friends, but it doesnt save this movie.
Being a fan of the occasional stupid film (but not every piece of celluloid dreck I was hoping to get a few belly laughs from this one and I did not. I found myself getting angrier each minute; feeling cheated from the usual Sandler drunken debauchery. Instead it was just bland and boring. The Cajun stereotypes are not so offensive as they are just outrageously drab stereotypes, and as such, nothing terrible to laugh at. I am sorry to say Sandler scores a miss with this piece of work (or lack thereof), and I dont recall seeing one of his movies since.
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