One of the tricky things about newer Adam Sandler movies is they can be quite difficult to watch without thinking about the past. Older fare like Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore are fond memories for most; the sort of jawns that cemented the man in many hearts. The latest entry into the cannon, That's My Boy, however, is a far cry from those halcyon days. Following recent bomb Jack & Jill, this is another two-hour exercise in cheap, irreverent schlock that misses the mark more often than not. Simply put, it's a piece of shit.
Then again, what hope is there when the plot's foundation is built on the premise that a thirteen-year-old boy slept with his teacher and then rode a wave of high-fives for the following 30 years. The idea that a boy should be commended for bedding an older woman is pretty icky on its own, but to take that infamy and use it as the sole reason for a man's success is just plain gross. Donny (Sandler) is presented as just that dude. The rise to fame after the controversy allows him to blow money fast and party with the likes of Vanilla Ice. He feeds his kid cake when he's not forgetting about him. Then, fast-forward to present day, and his now-grown son (Andy Samberg) wants nothing to do with him. Go figure.
Story issues aside, there are actually bigger problems at hand. The jokes here alternate between over-the-top gross-outs (read: body fluids) and dated references. (A bit from a decades-old beer commercial is used more than once.) Furthermore, while there are other people listed as appearing in the film they're presence is a mere candle flicker compared to the wildfire that is Sandler's performance.