Why I can’t stand Adam Sandler

RT's film editor Andrew Collins questions the appeal of the funnyman actor


I don’t hate Adam Sandler. That’s too strong a word.


I reserve my hate for murderous totalitarian regimes and people who talk in the gym.

But I think it’s accurate to say that I can’t stand Adam Sandler. His presence in a film is enough to send me running for the hills with my fist rammed into my mouth.

Needless to say, I won’t be making an appointment to view Spanglish this week, despite the fact that it was directed by James L Brooks (Broadcast News, The Simpsons Movie) and that it’s the film in which Sandler supposedly tones down his second-hand Jerry Lewis antics.

What can’t I stand about him?

His chipmunk face. His vacant grin. His nasal voice. His propensity to play the dunce at least once a year, each comedy apparently demanding less from his shallow puddle of talent.

He’s a rich 42-year-old; his films have grossed a cumulative $1.5 billion – ranging from stupid golf comedy Happy Gilmore to stupid American football comedy The Waterboy.

If you find the sight of him sobbing through a rendition of Madonna’s Holiday in the 1980s-set Wedding Singer the height of hilarity, I respect you for that.

But surely we all have a star who sets our teeth on edge and makes us shift uncomfortably in our seat.

Sandler is a former stand-up comedian (sample gag: “I finished a big book the other day – 421 pages, that’s a lot of colouring”) and an alumnus of Saturday Night Live.

By my reckoning, that fabled US sketch show produces one great big-screen comedian (John Belushi, Bill Murray, Ben Stiller) to every two duff ones (Chris Farley, Martin Short, Rob Schneider, Damon Wayans, Adam Sandler).

It’s said his clownish persona hides acting depths, as in the post-9/11 drama Reign over Me where his muttering and motorised skateboard fooled some – but not me.

I appreciate that he will lose no sleep over my disapproval, but it’s great to get it off my chest and share it with the group.


Should anyone ever cast him opposite Nicole Kidman, I may hand in my badge.