07/25/2007 09:40 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Can I Possibly Be the Only Person With Highbrow Credentials Who Thinks Adam Sandler Is Great


What is with movie critics and Adam Sandler?

"Man-child persona" wrote a New York Times critic as though that's a crime.

First of all, being in touch with the child you once were is an historic sign of artistic sensibility. And though Sandler's movie persona is frequently that of an adolescent in a man's body, he more or less shapes up by the movie's finale.

In "Big Daddy" Sandler winds up as a good father to a kid left on his doorstep.

Even the New Yorker magazine conceded Adam Sandler is excellent in the movie "Reign On Me" where he plays a man whose family was killed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

And his current hit "Chuck and Larry" uses yuks to convey a message of compassion for gay people.

In "Chuck and Larry:, Adam plays a straight fireman--a loyal friend who respects the rights of homosexuals. He shines in the scene where he is extravagantly hugged by Ving Rhames, the huge, muscled black actor. Under the mistaken impression that Adam is gay. Rhames thanks Adam for revealing it to the world.. Then Rhames comes out to Adam.. Imprisioned in a bear hug, Sandler's face is a subtle. symphony of creeped out irony and compassion.

I have to believe that Adam Sandler is a better role model for young people than male actors who routinely shoot 'em up and blow-em-up.

In fact there's no gratuitous violence in Sandler's movies--and except for the family killed in the backstory of "Reign Over Me," I can't recall much violence at all.

And it's not as if Sandler appears to be about making money even though he's probably the highest paid Hollywood actor. The guy sweats sincerity.

If he has a flaw, he's too deferential.. Indeed, he seemed overly-awestruck while Jack Nicholson chewed scenery in "Anger Management".

And hey, dorky critics, Sandler's movies resonate liberal values--even if he sometimes derides these values in punchlines and mumbly asides.

Can I possibly be the only person with highbrow credentials who thinks Adam is adorable?.


After all, "Chuck and Larry" is Sandler's ninth movie that's opened No,1 in the box office grosses.

This proves that a lot of good people ignore critics..

Adam Sandler is a leading man who doesn't need a lacquered goyisha kup like Tom Cruise in order to make more money than God.

What do critics want?

I suspect film critics are all hissy and pissy because Sandler bypasses print media outlets to publicize his movies on tv. I once saw him on a Saturday morning giggling with little kids sitting in a circle on the floor..

Do the critics remember Adam playing "opera man" on Saturday Night Live. I giggled as he waved a hanky and sang each and every gracenote in an Italian aria in flawless falsetto, substituting silly, dirty lyrics for the unintelligible Italian words that buffs seem to adore..

Sometimes I worry. Adam.can be too self-deprecating like when he told Letterman that his father who'd recently died called him a moron.

Artists are like that. Raw.

He seemed raw when on Saturday Night Live he played a kid on a telephone who'd been dumped by a girl.

One male friend of mine analyzed critics' discomfort with Adam, "He shows too much vulnerability. He's that nice kid you wanted to beat up in the schoolyard because he seemed on the verge of tears."

.But I love that Adam's characters are good guys...

I once cornered one of Sandler's producers at a screening. "I think Adam Sandler's a genius," I said.

"Well he is the nicest man in Hollywood," said the producer condescendingly..

I was too flabbergasted to ask the guy how Adam Sandler manages to be a nice guy and to protect himself in the producer's dog-eat-dog world.