A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Sandy Wexler is another of Adam Sandler's Netflix original movies. He stars as a clueless talent manager who does absolutely nothing right and makes tons of bad decisions yet still has a stable of awful, delusional, clownish performers who depend upon him. Expect plenty of action and injury -- a daredevil jumper who can't make a landing, a car accident, a wild animal killing -- all played for laughs. While there's no shortage of swearing ("s--t," "asshole," "bull crap," "p---y," "goddammit"), the film is actually far less foul-mouthed and gross than Sandler's earlier Netflix endeavors. But that doesn't mean you won't see a commercial for "vaginal discharge ointment," or a huge wrestler, in a thong, attempting to sit on the head of his opponent, buttocks up-close-and-personal. Characters drink (once to excess), "blow" and "acid" are mentioned, and there are some over-the-top sexual situations. The movie is very long, especially for a comedy. Bottom line? It's a step up from the repugnant The Ridiculous 6 and The Do-Over, but not a very high step.
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What's the story?
SANDY WEXLER (Adam Sandler) is the consummate manager for "talent" who need a career boost, or even just a career. With his stable of oddball folk with limited abilities -- a daredevil jumper who never completes a jump, a comedian who isn't funny (Colin Quinn), a ventriloquist (Kevin James) with an ethnically mixed-troop of insult dummies, a struggling actress, a contortionist -- Wexler likens his clients to family, and works hard on their behalf. The problem is, he's delusional, inept, dishonest, socially awkward, has a grating voice, and terrible table manners. When he discovers Courtney Clarke (Jennifer Hudson) singing in a children's play at a theme park, he's smitten. Not only does she have a remarkable voice, but she's beautiful, gracious, and warmhearted. He falls hopelessly in love. Always the professional, Sandy doesn't let her know how he feels, and somehow manages to jumpstart what will for her be instant stardom. As Courtney rises, however, Sandy has to acknowledge that perhaps his less-than-stellar management skills are weighing her down. Sacrificing his feelings and the stature he's experienced at her side, Sandy steps away. The heartbroken man once again turns his attention to the bleak troop of performers, to whom he is dedicated. As time passes, despite a series of high-powered romances, popularity, and life in the fast lane, Courtney can't help but miss the sad-sack loser who gave his all for her. It's a classic story -- manager meets star; manager loses star; but will he get her back?
Is it any good?
Funny in spots, with plenty of pitiable events and mild raunch (plus the long running time of 2 hours, 10 minutes), Adam Sandler once again plays a man-child in search of a grownup life. Audiences really have to suspend disbelief for Sandy Wexler. They're forced to go with the exaggerated situations, outrageous characters, and illogical behavior. It's an exercise in excess all around. There's less profanity and gross-out humor than in his first two Netflix Original movies, so Sandy Wexler isn't exactly reprehensible. In fact, a huge contingent of real celebrities (among them Henry Winkler, Chris Rock, Janeane Garofalo, Jay Leno, the list goes on and on) pay tribute to this faux celebrity in in some of the film's best moments. The movie is an acknowledged tribute to Sandler's longtime manager, Sandy Wernick, who appears himself in some of the most tasteless scenes as an elderly man in a near-vegetative state. Devoted Sandler fans should find much to like; others may tire quickly of his horrendous table manners, grating voice, and continuous missteps.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the action in Sandy Wexler. Though many of the accidents and situations portrayed have serious consequences in real life, how do the filmmakers let audiences know that these are comic stunts and not meant to be taken seriously?
Some call Adam Sandler a master of "gross-out comedy." What is "gross-out" comedy? What makes us laugh at such jokes about bodily functions, bad manners, and killing a raccoon with a baseball bat? Would you say that Adam Sandler appeals to our incorrigible childishness?
Think about the stereotypes in Sandy Wexler. When is a stereotype funny and when is it offensive? Does the fact that Cindy, the "cougar," Firuz, the wealthy Middle Eastern businessman, are played by popular stars (Jane Seymour and Rob Schneider) make them less objectionable?
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