That's My Boy

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
That's My Boy Movie Poster Image
Raunchy, juvenile humor will offend many, amuse very few.
  • R
  • 2012
  • 116 minutes

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 12 reviews

Kids say

age 16+
Based on 38 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Positive messages in That's My Boy are mostly aimed at adults to be better parents and not completely damage their children's emotional lives. There's also a lesson about truly knowing the person you're going to marry. On the downside, much of the movie's humor is at others' expense and/or gleaned by mocking particular groups (the obese, etc.).

Positive Role Models & Representations

The only remotely positive role model is the stripper who convinces Donny to search for his son. And at the very, very end, Donny rises to the occasion, accepts responsibility for how he neglected his son, and acts like a father should. Todd is obviously the product of an extremely dysfunctional situation who still managed to succeed professionally.


Mostly comic violence. Donny and Todd get in a few fist-fights, which they usually resolve by hitting their opponent with a bottle to the back of the head. Donny, Todd, and Vanilla Ice anger several different crowds of people who chase them from place to place -- including a convenience store, where the owner is trigger happy and shoots off his gun (again and again). Even a priest punches a couple of people.


Like most of Sandler's lowbrow comedies, That's My Boy has tons of references to sex and several scenes of nudity. Incest, masturbation, erections, penis size (even that of a young boy), semen, oral sex, happy endings -- all are heavily explored in the dialogue. Frequent sex scenes feature everything from an adult teacher and her 13-year-old student to a long sequence about a man masturbating to a photo of an elderly woman to a shot of a brother and sister having sex. Donny's home away from home is a nudie bar where the strippers are topless or wearing just pasties and a thong. Sandler often goes for laughs at the expense of very large people, so there are several shots of naked obese people either as strippers or in other situations. Women are frequently treated as objects.


Barely a sentence of dialogue is free of swearing, usually "f--k" and its many derivatives, including "motherf---er" and "brotherf---er." Other words are also used liberally, including "s--t," "a--hole," "ass," "bitch," "hell," "crap," "damn," "goddamn," "oh my God," "whore," "d--k," "p---y," and many other slang terms for genitals. There are demeaning words and culturally insensitive jokes, as when a woman says "Chinaman," and the East Asian butler and maid are used for laughs. A black priest says "White people are f---ing crazy."


Many product placements -- mostly beer companies (Rolling Rock, Budweiser, Miller Light, Sam Adams, Busch) and cars (Fiero, Mustang, Cadillac). Also references to/appearances by Groupon, Angry Birds, Axe body spray, Vaseline, Taco Bell, Vaseline, and Newsweek.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Donny literally has a beer in his hand for the majority of the movie. It's a running joke that he drinks beer first thing in the morning, all throughout the day, and even in the shower. He pulls them out of pockets, drawers, and other unexpected places. During the bachelor party, the guys get so drunk they can't even stand. Marijuana is consumed, and a man has white powder on his nose that's obviously supposed to be cocaine. Donny mentions that a bachelor party should have a ton of blow, strippers, and hookers to be fun.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that That's My Boy is a hard-R Adam Sandler comedy that's full of sex jokes and strong language. There's barely a sentence in the entire film (even a wedding ceremony!) that doesn't contain multiple "f--k"s and other curse words ("s--t," "bitch," "a--hole," and many more). Sandler's character is perpetually drinking a beer -- even first thing in the morning. There's much debauchery; characters drink until they nearly pass out or throw up, smoke marijuana, and engage in adulterous sexual activity. The sex jokes and scenes are nonstop; everything from masturbation to threesomes to incest to statutory rape is depicted, mentioned, and explored. There's little to redeem this movie, even for older teens.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byxxxrodrigoxxx July 2, 2019

Completely inappropriate for children - and anyone with a sense of humor as well

This is the worst film I have ever seen in my life. It is astonishingly crass, dull and unfunny. You definitely won't be watching this oversexed romp with... Continue reading
Adult Written byjudeţi October 23, 2015

Appeals to the lowest common denominator of humanity

Basically nothing more than a tasteless, college-humor (more like adolescent humor) comedy. There are certainly enough non-intellectuals in America to get a kic... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byAge appropriate guid August 22, 2015
Teen, 13 years old Written byJacob Hetfield April 17, 2019

What's the story?

Donny Berger (Adam Sandler) was a tabloid celebrity in his teens for fathering a child with his young, attractive teacher (Eva Amurri). Instead of being considered the victim of abuse, Donny had a TV movie made out of his life and cashed on his 15 minutes of fame. More than 20 years later, Donny is a Boston-area slacker who has just found out he must pay $43,000 in back taxes to the IRS. A local TV host offers Donny $50,000 if he can find his estranged son, Han Solo (Andy Samberg), and appear on a reunion special. Han, now in his mid-20s, is a successful hedge-fund manager with bland new name -- Todd Peters -- who's about to marry Jamie (Leighton Meester), a hen-peckish beauty. Donny tracks Todd down and pretends to be his best friend to convince him to do the show, but as the two get reacquainted, Donny and Todd realize that maybe they have more of a bond than they initially thought.

Is it any good?

Sandler is turning into another Eddie Murphy: He makes terrible movies because he seems to not care as long as he's having fun and getting a huge paycheck. Never mind that this movie seems conceived by hormonal middle-school boys hot for their teacher. Perhaps Sandler thinks no one cares if he once again plays an over-sexed "lovable loser" who can somehow bed any woman in his immediate vicinity. Maybe some audiences (especially males under the age of 21) will enjoy the fat jokes and constant references to schlongs and sexual positions and bodily fluids -- not to mention sexual abuse and incest. It's just in good fun, he must justify; besides brothers and sisters have sex on Game of Thrones!

But, really, you'd be better off renting or streaming Sandler's greatest hits than watching this puerile exercise in ridiculing the Mary Kay Letourneau and Vili Fualaau story. Who knew that an older teacher who seduces and then gets pregnant by her 13-year-old student could spawn an entire movie not broadcast on the Lifetime Channel? Apparently Sandler did, or at least his director and screenwriter pals. Sandler is (or maybe "was") a talented comedian, but this raunchy-as-he-wants-to-be formula isn't working at all. The only redeeming parts: Susan Sarandon as the aged imprisoned teacher (the younger version is played by her own daughter, Amurri); James Caan as a boxer-turned-priest with a temper; and Saturday Night Live alums Will Forte and Rachel Dratch. But the cameos still aren't worth the price of admission.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the amount of sex, language, and alcohol in That's My Boy. Is it funny to joke about statutory rape? Are there different standards applied to sex between young girls and older men vs. young boys and older women? Why?

  • What do you think of the movie's jokes about overweight people? Is it ever OK to continuously poke fun at a particular group of people?

  • Compare this movie to other Adam Sandler films. What's the difference between his "family" movies and the ones for older audiences?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love comedies

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