A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Week Of looks at the obstacles -- financial and otherwise -- a devoted dad negotiates as he struggles to put on an affordable wedding for his adored daughter. The story, written by Adam Sandler and director Robert Smigel, focuses on the importance of love for family over wealth and success. It's all peppered with raunchy humor that includes a running joke featuring an elderly double amputee who needs help going to the bathroom, as well as strippers on trampolines and a bachelorette party with penis party favors. A youth just out of rehab struggles with triggers for his addiction. A brief reference is made to a wife beating her husband. A fire breaks out during a wedding, forcing the guests to evacuate. Adults drink alcohol, and language includes "f--k," "s--t," "ass," and "t-ts."
- Parents say
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What's the story?
THE WEEK OF follows Long Island contractor Kenny Lustiger (Adam Sandler) as he tries to mount a decent but discount Jewish wedding for his beloved daughter Sarah (Allison Strong) to her med student black fiancé Tyler (Roland Buck III). Stubbornly refusing a financial contribution from Tyler's wealthy Los Angeles surgeon dad Kirby (Chris Rock), Kenny secures the rundown motel his company did shoddy work for, and everything that can go wrong does. Many jokes derive from the indignities of Uncle Seymour (Jim Barone), an 87-year-old double amputee with diabetes, whose wheelchair doesn't work. Kenny cheerfully carries his uncle everywhere. Seymour runs out of clean laundry and wears his WWII uniform to a Little League game, where it's assumed he lost his legs in battle rather than to diabetes, encouraging strangers to repeatedly thank him for his service. Eventually, the mayor offers to honor him as a war hero with a party at City Hall, which Kenny plans to secretly use as his daughter's wedding reception. When Seymour attends the bachelor party at a trampoline studio filled with strippers, he falls into a pit of spongy cubes and has a terminal stroke. The mayor reneges on the party, leaving Kenny to save face with his family (and this involves a bag full of live bats -- don't ask), and then a return to Plan A, the leaky motel. Tyler's bon vivant dad, who had left his son and daughter to pursue celebrity surgeries and unlimited women in Los Angeles, now disdains Kenny and his clan for being coarse and broke. But at the wedding, Kirby confesses to Kenny that he wishes he had devoted his life to his family, as Kenny had, instead of to his selfish whims. He seems to renew his commitment to his kids and ex-wife, and bonds with Kenny as they plan a family Thanksgiving at his home in St. Lucia, on his dime.
Is it any good?
The first eight minutes of this movie are filled with overacting, bad writing, and stereotypical characters and situations, forcing one to wonder how such a thing ever got made. The answer? Co-writer and star Sandler has a four-picture deal with Netflix, and this is item number four on the countdown to contract fulfillment. Sandler reportedly so much enjoyed the experience of making movies that didn't have to generate ticket sales that he re-upped for another four with the streaming service.
Sandler delivers many of his lines in an exaggerated New York accent, at a high-pitched squawk reminiscent of Gilbert Gottfried. Many moments in The Week Of are clever rather than funny: A man looks under the door of a restroom stall, sees no legs and wants to go in, unaware it's occupied by a legless man, and Steve Buscemi nibbles from a Toblerone bar as big as a go-kart. Here's hoping Sandler, Rock, and the rest of the cast and crew had a good time while making this, because it's doubtful anyone seeing it will.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the way The Week Of makes a distinction between wealthy and not-so-wealthy families. The family that struggles here is also extremely generous to others. Do you think people with less are likely to share more, or do you think that is a fictional device used here to shore up the plot?
Adam Sandler yells a lot in this movie in moments meant to be humorous, especially during loud, offscreen fights with his wife. Do you think this approach works? Why or why not?
Is this movie a typical Adam Sandler film? How does it compare to other Sandler movies you've seen?
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