As we reach the fourth instalment in his now eight-movie deal with Netflix, Adam Sandler’s position in the pantheon of comedic greats has never been more contentious. For every Punch-Drunk Love there’s sadly a Jack and Jill, and following last year’s wonderfully impressive turn in Noah Baumbach’s The Meyerowitz Stories, the Brooklynite returns with The Week Of, perhaps a chance to kickstart a highly improbably Sandlerenaissance™.
The Week Of finds Kenny (Sandler), a blue-collar Long Islander, trying to organise his daughter’s wedding with the equally unpredictable Chris Rock playing his future in-law Kirby, reuniting the pair for the first time since the tour de force Grown Ups 2. As expected, nothing runs smoothly in its run up and as such, the movie itself plays true to form, borrowing from many of the wedding-in-disarray beats and tropes. It’s not so much a bad film, just an immensely tepid one with phoned-in performances, sadly an increasingly common occurrence for the leading pair.
Sandler’s CV has always been one of the spottier in Hollywood, and in spite of such criticism he’s continued to become one of comedy’s most bankable stars and though 2009’s Funny People was almost biographical in its depiction of a man trying to be taken seriously, he’s sadly continued to retread the same ground. Chris Rock, at one time one of the most incendiary stand ups on the planet, now reduced to fluff pieces like this, the fire – at least in any film-making capacity – is as good as out.
As sure as it is that night will follow day, it’s to be expected that there will be another inspired Sandler performance due in the not too distant future – perhaps in the Safdie’s upcoming Uncut Gems – it’s just a shame that they’re becoming so few and far between.
CAST: Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, Steve Buscemi, Rachel Dratch
DIRECTOR: Robert Smigel
WRITERS: Robert Smigel, Adam Sandler
SYNOPSIS: Two fathers 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.