Listen, I’m just going to put this out there:
Adam Sandler can be a good actor.
I know, I know. You scoff and you have every reason to do so. After all, Sandler is best known for appearing in Razzie-winning films like Jack and Jill and That’s My Boy. Sandler’s film career has been so lowbrow that, when Amy Dunne mentioned the misery of being forced to watch Sandler movies, audiences watching Gone Girl knowingly nodded and thought to themselves, “She may be a crazy but she knows her movies…”
And yet, occasionally, mixed in with all of the crap, you’ll come across a film that actually requires Sandler to act and play a character and he usually does a pretty good job at it. It’s the talent that you see in films like Punch-Drunk Love, Spanglish, Reign Over Me, and Funny People that makes it so frustrating that Sandler has devoted so much of his career to things like Grown-Ups 2.
When Sandler stops trying to make everyone laugh and actually lets his guard down, he has the ability to be a surprisingly good actor. And, though it’s hard to believe now, a lot of film bloggers — like me — were convinced that 2014 would be the year that Sandler would prove that he was capable of more than just winning Razzies.
He had two films scheduled to come out and both of them were directed by “serious” filmmakers. And Sandler got some good reviews for his performance in Jason Reitman’s Men, Women, & Children but the film itself was critically reviled.
As for Sandler’s other 2014 film, Thomas McCarthy’s The Cobbler opened to mixed reviews at the Toronto International Festival and, as a result, it probably will only get a very limited release in the early months of 2015.
However, I’m still looking forward to seeing The Cobbler. Thomas McCarthy’s previous film — Win Win — was one of the best of 2011 and the film’s premise — a cobbler discovers that he can assume anyone’s physical appearance and life simply by putting on their shoes — sounds like it could be promising, especially is Sandler plays to his natural sadness as opposed to going for easy laughs.
Here’s the international trailer for The Cobbler.