Stars: Adam Sandler, Jennifer Hudson, Kevin James, Nick Swardson, Terry Crews, Rob Schneider | Written by Adam Sandler, Dan Bulla, Tim Herlihy, Paul Sado | Directed by Steve Brill
Sandy Wexler is the latest Netflix original film from comedian/actor Adam Sandler – part of his four picture deal with the streaming service – and tells the story of the titular character: a talent manager working in Los Angeles in the 1990s who diligently represents a group of eccentric clients on the fringes of show business. His single-minded devotion is put to the test when he falls in love with his newest client, Courtney Clarke (Jennifer Hudson), a tremendously talented singer who he discovers at an amusement park.
If there’s one thing I can count on from my fellow movie bloggers, it’s their intense disdain for the films of Adam Sandler; in particular those made as part of Sandler’s Netflix deal. In fact many people in the film community wrote off The Ridiculous 6, the first film in his deal, taking issue with the films apparent racist comedy, without so much as seeing it. But not me, I watched it and… I enjoyed it. In fact I’m still a huge Sandler fan. And by fan, I mean a fan of his “stupid” comedies (as many call them) and not the dramas, a la Punch Drunk Love, everyone seems to want Sandler to go back to making.
But for anyone to write off Sandy Wexler in the same way would be a HUGE mistake.
In short, Sandy Wexler is a return to form for Sandler. as both as writer and actor. The film manages to recapture the sweetness of Sandler’s previous work – such as the likes of Happy Gilmore and The Wedding Singer – whilst still featuring the same ridiculously over the top characters and celebrity cameos that his latter films have become synonymous with. And when it comes to cameos, this film has a lot, a LOT; undoubtedly due to the real-life inspiration behind the flick.
With Sandy Wexler, Sandler and co. successfully add the warmth and heart a number of his recent films have been lacking (not that its not typically there, just not to the same extent as his earlier work), in large part thanks to Jennifer Hudson’s sweet, innocent singer and the chemistry she has with Sandler. But also because this film comes from a place of love – this Netflix movie is actually based, in part, on Sandler’s real-life manager Sandy Wernick! Speaking of Sandler, whilst the voice and mannerisms may be ridiculous, there’s still something completely endearing about the titular character – maybe it’s because, like Sandler’s best characters, he’s the underdog in this story and everyone wants the underdog to win in the end…
Sandy Wexler is available now on Netflix.