I’m kidding. Millennials are the generation bridging the past with the future. We’ve gone from kids with no internet and life without cell phones to adults with the internet at our fingertips wherever we go. In today’s world, millennials are scapegoats and our nostalgia is strong. We miss simpler times while appreciating today. Comedies from the 2000s have a specific type of humor. Adam Sandler was a juggernaut during this decade with movies like Mr. Deeds, The Longest Yard, andClick. Happy Madison Productions is Adam Sandler’s production company and produced Netflix’s Father of the Yearin 2018. Is Father of the Year the nostalgic comedy millennials have been looking for?
My wife and I were both born at the beginning of the 90’s and have a chronic case of nostalgia. We introduce our daughter to shows we grew up with. I’m embarrassed to admit I’ve spent too much time yearning for products that have been discontinued (I’m looking at you Doritos 3D.) during my childhood. Due to this, we are steadily seeking to recreate the feeling we got watching dumb comedies. It seems to be harder and harder to find this. Movies like Tropic Thunder and White Chicks haven’t aged that well. However, we’ve been able to find some films that scratch that itch. If you have the same craving, finish reading this article and then go watch Tag(2018) and Game Night(2018). These aren’t the best films from that year, but they came the closest to capturing some of that 2000s humor. These are the vulgar comedies that aren’t necessarily offensive and when they are, we all cringe a little. The humor is a little dry. The characters are vividly written to be funny. Moments of witty, sharp humor shine through the Jackass-style gag humor. The funny, flawed movies that made us feel like we’re all important because these awkward teenage characters might not have had an extravagant story, but still had heart in it. We’re going to look in depth at different scenes from Father of the Year and see if this movie satisfies in delivering that type of nostalgic, comedic journey our inner child remembers. From this point on there will be spoilers, so scroll to the very bottom of the article for the spoiler-free summary.
Unfortunately, Adam Sandler and Happy Maddison Productions have begun to gain a reputation. Most people enjoy poking fun at his newer movies and critiquing them. I don’t doubt that this film received similar criticism. One of its misses is how prominent the fathers’ characters are in the film. It felt like a funny gag that went on too long. Like the chicken fight in Family Guy. David Spade’s Wayne isn’t very likeable. However, David Spade’s performance brings the character up enough to help me stick around until the end. Despite the character’s faults, it’s not for nothing. Several chuckles and heart-felt moments mixed in with the performance redeem him enough for you to tolerate him, like political conversations during Thanksgiving.
The trailer itself teased us with a moment that provided one of those over-the-top gags that definitely made me laugh. David Spade’s character floats in the back of a truck turned pool with leaves in it. If that wasn’t enough, an old lady comes out, gets in the truck, and backs out. His son is astonished that the truck wasn’t even his. The lady driving the truck creaks to a halt at a stop sign, which sends David Spade crashing around the back of her truck until he finally falls out of the back.
Joey Bragg plays Wayne’s son, Ben. During the moments Ben and Wayne’s relationship attempts to mend itself, the movie pays off with some heartfelt moments. His character is written wittily and provides delightful dialogue throughout his time with Meredith. She is played by Good Luck Charlie’s Bridgit Mendler felt like one of the most developed characters in the story from the beginning. She performed like the character was her and delivered some of the best zingers throughout the movie. Father of the Year’s greatest gift is the relationships that fill the slightly over 90-minute runtime. Whether it’s the weird Old Granny with a literal skeleton hidden in her garden or Matt Shively’s Larry that barters sex for legal charges to be dropped. The cast deliver their characters with ease.
I feel that this film did capture the 2000s moments we talked about above. This film wasn’t written by Adam Sandler, but it was produced through Happy Maddison Productions in an exclusive deal with Netflix. The company still has some of the magic it once did, but it’s received its reputation for a reason. This movie flopped in some respects and flourished in others. If you’re a nostalgic millennial and you find yourself sitting on the couch looking through Netflix to find a comedy that can get your inner child chuckling give it a try. If you don’t like it though don’t @ me. Father of the Year gets 6½ “Click” TV remotes out of 10.