Big Daddy

Movie review by
Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
Big Daddy Movie Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
Typical Adam Sandler: charm mixed with crude humor.
  • PG-13
  • 1999
  • 93 minutes

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 14 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 51 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Movie is too ludicrous to have any real positive messages. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

No real positive role models. 


Comedic pratfalls. Characters fall down, hit their heads. To make a child laugh, the lead character jumps in front of a moving vehicle and gets hit. 


Jokes referencing sex. Humor mined out of two men being gay and expressing it through comments and kissing. Sign in bedroom reads "Live Nudes." 


Frequent profanity. The adopted child of the movie copies Adam Sandler's character and uses phrases such as "the goddamn Jets," "Is that the guy with the old balls?," "cut the crap," and "a--holes." Adults use variations on "s--t," "d--k," "hell," "a--hole," and "damn." Use of the middle-finger gesture. 


Frequent product placement: McDonald's, Hooters, Pepsi, Frito-Lay products, Yoo-hoo, SpaghettiOs. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

For comedic effect, a homeless man makes reference to taking too many mushrooms in the 1970s. Beer and alcohol drinking. A father reminds his son of the time he found a bag of marijuana in his desk. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Big Daddy is a 1999 Adam Sandler film in which Sandler plays an irresponsible man-child who "adopts" a young boy under false pretenses. There is frequent profanity; humor is mined from a 5-year-old saying things like, "Is that the guy with the old balls?" and "But I wipe my own ass." Adults use variations on "s--t," "d--k," "hell," "a--hole," and "damn." While the humor is on the whole typical goofy and obnoxious Sandler fare, jokes are made at the expense of overweight people, and the very idea of two men falling in love and showing their affection by flirting and kissing is seen as something awkward. There is an incredible amount of product placement, and characters repeatedly mentioning McDonald's, Hooters, Pepperidge Farm, Pepsi, and assorted Frito-Lay products. For comedic effect, a homeless man makes reference to taking too many mushrooms in the 1970s. Expect beer and alcohol drinking. A father reminds his son of the time he found a bag of marijuana in his desk. Overall, for those who enjoy Adam Sandler movies, this is typical of the formula he used to great success in the 1990s, and by this point, you either like it or you don't. 

Wondering if Big Daddy is OK for your kids?

Set preferences and get age-appropriate recommendations with Common Sense Media Plus. Join now

Continue reading Show less

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byangelique.burton May 22, 2020
Adult Written bydvdgirl August 19, 2018


funny movie so good I have about 3 copies of the DVD and the guy Sonny I would be like not really knowing how to handle a kid. good movie . in my opinion.
Kid, 11 years old April 18, 2020

One of the funniest Adam Sandler movies.

This is my number 2 movie of all time. It is so funny and not to bad for children... if they understand it. In the start there is a few s-words but overall thru... Continue reading
Kid, 10 years old February 8, 2020

What's the story?

BIG DADDY centers on Sonny Koufax (Adam Sandler), a shiftless young man who is wasting his life, much to the chagrin of his parents, friends, and girlfriend. One day, 5-year-old Julian (played by twins Cole and Dylan Sprouse) is abandoned on his doorstep through a mix-up. Rather than place the boy in an orphanage, Koufax agrees to take care of him for a few days, thinking it will help him win back his ex-girlfriend. At first the two have fun behaving irresponsibly together, but gradually Koufax comes to love the boy and realizes that he wants to keep him. He also realizes that if he wants to keep Julian, he will have to begin to accept some responsibility. He sees the consequences of his slacker lifestyle in the influence he has on the child -- and in the risk he runs of losing him. Koufax fights the Department of Social Services in court when they come to take the boy back.

Is it any good?

Big Daddy has all the unavoidable elements of an Adam Sandler film: slapstick humor, gross jokes, bodily functions galore, spectacular pratfalls, and more than a sprinkling of sexual innuendo. Yet it's a welcome return to the sweetness and heart of The Wedding Singer after the numbing dopiness of The Waterboy, and the tasteless portions (about 90 percent of the film) are played in such a broad and obvious way that there's little risk teens will mistake this for acceptable behavior.

This is not a profound movie, but adolescents (and those who like adolescent humor) will enjoy it. Sandler has a light-enough touch that the movie doesn't become sentimental or lose its sense of humor by adding some heart to the characters. Like the character he plays, Sandler is beginning to learn that you can be responsible and funny at the same time.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the appeal of silly comedies such as this one. Where is the line between funny and offensive?

  • How is product placement used in this movie? Why do some movies have what amounts to commercials shoehorned into the story? Do you think this is a problem? Why, or why not? 

  • Adam Sandler has a distinct style and personality that often defines his movies. Who are some other actors with their own distinct styles and personalities, in both comedy and drama? 

Movie details

For kids who love to laugh

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate