Sure, most of Adam Sandler's movies are so bad even his own kids won't watch them, and yes, The Waterboy is kind of patently offensive when you think about it, and—you know what—OK, those three movies he made for Netflix are garbage. But it looks like Sandler might've just made something actually worth seeing.
As the Irish Independent reports, the actor's latest film The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) got a four-minute standing ovation at Cannes. The Guardian praised the comedy as "terrifically pleasurable and entertaining," and Variety called it "the best Netflix Original film to date." Sandler's even reportedly generating Oscar buzz at the prestigious film festival.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, The Meyerowitz Stories follows a dysfunctional family helmed, quite unsteadily, by patriarch Harold Meyerowitz (Dustin Hoffman), an aging sculptor whose inflated sense of self-importance leaves him bitter and borderline egomaniacal. After a life-threatening accident, Harold longs to leave some kind of artistic legacy behind in the event of his death, and his children struggle to put together a show that would make him happy.
Ben Stiller plays Matthew, Harold's favorite son who fled the family's home base in New York for a lucrative finance career in Los Angeles. Where Matthew constantly searches for some sort of affirmation from his father, Jean (Elizabeth Marvel), the only daughter, takes a more reserved, comic approach to Harold's deadbeat parenting. That leaves us with the eldest son, Sandler's Danny, a failed, self-pitying artist with a bum leg whose only accomplishment has been raising his wildly talented daughter Eliza (Grace Van Patten), a film student at Bard.
"With no shtick to fall back on, Sandler is forced to act, and it's a glorious thing to watch," Variety's Peter Debruge wrote, calling the performance "his best role since Punch-Drunk Love played Cannes in 2002."
Written and directed by Noah Baumbach (The Life Aquatic, Frances Ha), the by-turns heartfelt and darkly funny film presents an opportunity for Sandler to play the kind of character he plays best: a sad, self-effacing old dude with a good heart and a heap of regrets.
Good for you, Adam Sandler. Good for you.
Follow Drew Schwartz on Twitter.