“Sandy Wexler” is a Step Forward for Sandler

Sandy Wexler

“Sandy Wexler” is directed by Steven Brill and stars Adam Sandler, Jennifer Hudson, Kevin James, Terry Crews, and Nick Swardson.  This Netflix original film is about a talent manager who represents a varied list of clients until he finds a singer with a magical voice who he believes can make it to the top.

There is not a word to describe just how little I was looking forward to seeing this movie.  Adam Sandler’s last efforts have been just the worst, and Steven Brill has been the director of some of the worst comedies in recent memory, so I came in with my hopes basically out the window, hoping that maybe Sandler could get back into his classic comedic stride once again.

The Good

This is, without a doubt, Adam Sandler’s most well-structured film he has had a major role in this decade, as there are a lot of things that this movie has going for it that have been severely lacking in previous efforts.  Director Steven Brill makes the character of Sandy Wexler someone who is, while annoying, rather sweet and loveable, and someone that I found myself rooting for from start to finish.

Way too often Sandler plays a version of himself where he’s a nerd who eventually gets a girl out of his league, he plays a much more realistic role here, as he actually does a rather solid job portraying this talent manager.  Sandler is consistent with his persona from start to finish, and there were more than a few scenes that I thought Sandler did a good job with the character in making a semi-powerful moment, and I have to give the man credit, especially because of how truly awful he has been in almost every film in the past decade.

Even more stunning, the supporting cast is mostly good.  Jennifer Hudson is the best performance here, as she basically plays an up and coming Jennifer Hudson, but she does it well and uses her powerful vocals excellently.  I actually liked Kevin James and Rob Schneider in their supporting roles.  They don’t do all that much, but that is probably for the best, as they offer a minor amount of humor without overdoing it, which they both have been known to do.

Aside from Hudson, I found Terry Crews’ character to be the most interesting of the supporting cast, as he has some solid chemistry with Sandler, and he shows the bond that a manager and the talent can have the strongest, even if it was for a short amount of runtime.

There is something about the concluding moments that I really liked, as it once again played into the sweetness of the character very well.  It’s not necessarily a twist, but it was a pleasant surprise, as were many elements of this film.

The Bad

While many parts of this movie are worlds better than any Sandler project in recent memory, the comedy is pretty much the same old crap.  Very few jokes land as they should, and, in fact, the attempts at cheap comedy take away from what could have been a pretty good story idea if done more seriously.  The lighthearted aspect works, but whenever the film goes for the straight up jokes, they fall flat on their face every time.

Most of the supporting cast works just fine, but that is not the case for either Nick Swardson or Colin Quinn, who are both incredibly bad in this movie.  While I understand that there needed to be a few characters like this to show exactly what Sandy Wexler is like, they didn’t have to be in the film for as long as they were, and they certainly should have been funnier, but instead these two aggravated me the entire time they were on the screen.

As much as this is a dramatic improvement for Sandler in many aspects, there is no helping just how annoying his voice is throughout this whole movie.  The character is pretty well done, and a lot of what Sandler does works, but the voice does not, as it sounds like nails on a chalkboard for the entire 130-minute runtime.

Speaking of that runtime, it is way too long for a movie that is trying to be a comedy.  There are characters who could be severely cut down, and the plot did not have to go on as long as it did, and by the final act, I was running out of patience with the weak jokes and Sandler’s high pitched squeal.

Conclusion

“Sandy Wexler” is the best movie starring Adam Sandler in a very long time, but it still is far from perfect.  There is a lot to enjoy with the storyline and the character that is at the center, but the humor is still far from passable, and the runtime is obscenely long for a comedy.  This is the first promising step forward in a long time for Sandler, and while that might be because my expectations were lower than rock bottom, I still had a mildly enjoyable time watching this movie from start to finish.

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“Sandy Wexler” is available to watch on Netflix now  

What did you think of “Sandy Wexler”?  Comment below with your thoughts.       


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