Director: Robert Smigel
Writers: Adam Sandler, Robert Smigel
Starring: Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, Steve Buscemi
Kenny Lustig (Sandler) and Kirby Cordice (Rock) are two fathers with opposing personalities whose respective daughter and son are to marry. Despite being by far the less affluent of the two fathers, Kenny insists on paying for and arranging the entire wedding, and as things get increasingly chaotic, the two of them are forced to spend the longest week of their lives together.
When he and his production company signed a lucrative deal with Netflix a few years ago, it meant that Adam Sandler would be not be making any cinema appearances for a while, and that can only be a good thing. Unfortunately, Sandler has proved to be someone whose films often demonstrate a horrific level of hubristic complacency, and now he has signed this big money deal, why even try?!?
Well, what makes this more frustrating is that Sandler has proved before that he does know how to act (though not very often), and so it is pretty much down to sheer morbid curiosity that we cannot help but be curious to see what Sandler will produce next and exactly what Adam Sandler is going to appear on screen. Well, sadly The Week Of is the complacent, auto-pilot Sandler of horrifically unfunny films like Grown Ups 2 and Blended both in terms of his performance and the standard of filmmaking (he is the boss after all – so is responsible for all of the film’s failings!).
The premise of The Week Of is most certainly nothing new but could easily be a suitable enough platform for an effective comedy if it were written well, but the chaotic script by director Robert Smigel and Sandler himself does not even try, it lacks any clear structure or focus and seems to think it can just get away with putting together random scenes using the film’s wafer-thin narrative (and overlong running time) and is funny if it features lots of people shouting at one-another.
The film does produce the occasionally mildly amusing moment, but often misfires as a lot of the jokes are aimed at either a man in his eighties with no legs or a young character who blatantly suffers from what is actually quite a potentially serious mental illness as he constantly has the potential to react very badly to various ‘triggers’. Though The Week Of is perhaps not quite as abrasive or blood boilingly irritating as some of Sandler’s previous films, it is just very lazy with not even wanting to try and make an effort and try to get this minimal of concepts to actually work as a feature length narrative, and at times it just feels like complete anti-cinema.
Sandler’s performance is utterly devoid of any kind of effort, and he seems to think that just shouting a lot will provide enough laughs, but it seems quite obvious from his performance that he doesn’t actually care and has the power to essentially give whatever performance he wishes, no one involved in the making of this film is going to tell him otherwise! Meanwhile Chris Rock is even worse; but if his good mate Adam doesn’t care, then why should he? Rocks’ performance is so bad, with line delivery completely out of tone to the other actors in scenes with him, that it almost feels borderline parodic! Some of the supporting cast do try, such as Rachel Dratch as Kenny’s wife and Katie Hartman as the bride’s over planning maid of honour, but there are so many characters that come and go over the course of the chaotic and bloated narrative that is hard to keep track of who everyone is, and it is even harder to care. This all leads to a painfully predictable ending, and the annoyingly smug closing scene concludes what is a completely wasted 2 hours. Netflix has a huge choice of films, so do not waste your precious time on this one!
The Week Of is a classic Adam Sandler ‘comedy’; smug, lazy, complacent and very rarely even slightly funny. Yet another Netflix exclusive to avoid.
Too late for me, but fair assessment.