Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Adam Sandler's Happy Madison Productions: Ah, the Artistry

Happy GilmoreImage via Wikipedia
I'm not much of a movie person, but I've just been perusing the 10+ year collected works of Adam Sandler's Happy Madison Productions, and am completely amazed by just how bad, not to mention critically reviled (not always the same thing), the movies tend to be. I've decided, being bored, to look at all of the movies this venerable studio has created, and to look in each case at the Rotten Tomatoes page for it. Recall that Rotten Tomatoes aggregates critics' reviews and tallies what percentage give positive reviews. So a movie with a 50% rating has had as many praises as pans ('praise' is an exaggeration - merely more positive than negative). So a number over 50 can vaguely be considered a critical success, where as a number under 50 can be considered a critical failure. Enter Happy Gilmore...
  1. Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo: 23% 
  2. Little Nicky: 22% 
  3. The Animal: 30% 
  4. Joe Dirt: 11% 
  5. Mr. Deeds: 22% 
  6. The Master of Disguise: 2% 
  7. Eight Crazy Nights: 13% 
  8. The Hot Chick: 21% 
  9. Anger Management: 43% 
  10. Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star: 22% 
  11. 50 First Dates: 44% 
  12. The Longest Yard: 31% 
  13. Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo: 10% 
  14. Grandma's Boy: 16% 
  15. The Benchwarmers: 12% 
  16. Click: 32% 
  17. I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry: 13% 
  18. Reign Over Me: 63% 
  19. Strange Wilderness: 0% 
  20. You Don't Mess with the Zohan: 36% 
  21. The House Bunny: 39% 
  22. Bedtime Stories: 25% 
  23. Paul Blart: Mall Cop: 34% 
  24. Funny People: 68% 
It takes, frankly, a serious dedication to crap to pull off a résumé like this. In 24 films, fully two get above 50% in critical acclaim, and both of those are examples of the evident fact that Sandler sticks his company logo on anything he stars in. Actually, these two apparently bear the brand 'Mr. Madison 23', apparently a brand dedicated to Adam Sandler films that aren't crap. So if we discount those two, then in 22 films, the highest acclaim goes to '50 First Dates', which at 56% disapproval is still a bomb. Check out 'Strange Wilderness', a movie for which Rotten Tomatoes was unable to find a single complimentary review.

Adam Sandler, you do have some talent and charm. But it's tough, excepting perhaps Uwe Boll's company (hmmm... I smell follow-up blog entry), to imagine a production studio more critically reviled.
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