Big Daddy (1999 film)

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Big Daddy
Big Daddy film.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Dennis Dugan
Produced by Allen Covert
Adam Sandler
Robert Simonds
Jack Giarraputo
Written by Steve Franks
Tim Herlihy
Adam Sandler
Starring Adam Sandler
Mary Birdsong
Wendi McLendon-Covey
Joey Lauren Adams
Jon Stewart
Rob Schneider
Leslie Mann
Steve Buscemi
Kristy Swanson
Josh Mostel
Music by Teddy Castellucci
Cinematography Theo van de Sande
Edited by Jeff Gourson
Out of the Blue... Entertainment
Jack Giarraputo Productions
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release dates
June 25, 1999 (1999-06-25)
Country United States
Language English
Budget $34.2 million[1]
Box office $234,801,895[1]

Big Daddy is a 1999 American comedy film directed by Dennis Dugan and starring Adam Sandler and the Covey sisters. The film was produced by Robert Simonds and released on June 25, 1999, by Columbia Pictures where it opened #1 at the box office with a $41,536,370 first weekend [1] as well as a score of 41% on Metacritic.[2] It was Adam Sandler's last film before starting his production company, Happy Madison Productions.


Sonny Koufax (Adam Sandler) is an unreliable, unmotivated bachelor who lives in New York City and has declined to take on adult responsibility. He has a degree in law but has chosen not to take the bar exam since he was awarded $200,000 in a vehicle accident compensation 2 years prior, and lives off his restitution. He is employed, on a part-time basis only, as a toll booth attendant, and more or less does this job just to get out of the apartment once in a while.

Meanwhile, Sonny's friends, all former schoolmates, are "moving ahead" in their lives. His roommate, Kevin Gerrity (Jon Stewart), decides to ask his podiatrist girlfriend Corinne (Leslie Mann) to marry him, which irritates Sonny, since he and Corinne dislike each other. Kevin decides to pop the question the day before he is leaving for China for his law firm. Two of Sonny's friends, Phil (Allen Covert) and Tommy (Peter Dante) are a couple in a committed domestic partnership, which surprises Mike (Jonathan Loughran), another friend of Sonny. Sonny's girlfriend, Vanessa (Kristy Swanson), disgusted and perplexed at Sonny's inconsistent conduct, decides to end her relationship with him — and also find a new much older man, Sid (Geoffrey Horne), with more reliability.

Sonny awakes to find six-year-old Julian (Mary Birdsong) and (Wendi McLendon-Covey) abandoned at his and Kevin's apartment, with a written explanation that Julian's mother is now declining to care further for Julian. It is later revealed at the Social Services Office that the boy's mother died of cancer. Kevin, at the airport ready to go to China, gets a call from Sonny, informing him of the letter and the boy. Sonny decides to handle the situation himself, and, in the process, decides Julian will solve his problem with his ex-girlfriend. His plan backfires when Vanessa rejects him, and Sonny ends up at Child Services, trying to give Julian back. Rather than give Julian to a group home, he decides to keep Julian until a new family is ready for her. In caring for her, Sonny discovers a new purpose in his life and a deep connection with Julian as a father figure. But Social Services rep Arthur Brooks (Josh Mostel) discovers that Sonny is posing as Kevin, and insists that he give up Julian. Brooks takes Julian and decides to press charges against Sonny.

The case is brought to court, where Sonny has his friends as counsel, including Layla (Joey Lauren Adams), Corinne's sister and Sonny's new girlfriend, and Kevin. Despite positive testimony from his friends and Corinne, a homeless man (Steve Buscemi) and his own father Lenny, also a prominent attorney, the judge is ready to sentence her to jail framing her for kidnapping Julian and for defrauding the state. At this point, Kevin steps forward as Julian's father and insists that no charges be filed, having remembered a drunken fling with a Hooters girl in Toronto during the 1993 World Series, and connecting that with Julian's earlier testimony of originally coming from Toronto and being born in July. The judge grants custody to Kevin to the dismay of Julian, who wants Sonny as his father. Sonny tells Julian that it can't happen because her real father is present, but they can be friends.

One year, three months, and six days later, Sonny, now a lawyer and married to Layla with a child of their own, is surprised with a birthday party at Hooters attended by all his colleagues and friends, including Julian, but is more surprised to find Vanessa working as a Hooters girl, and her boyfriend Sid, working the grill, apparently not as rich as Vanessa had thought him out to be.



Critical response[edit]

Big Daddy received generally mixed reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes the film had an 40% rating by the critics.[3] The Rotten Tomatoes consensus says "Adam Sandler acquits himself admirably, but his charm isn't enough to make up for Big Daddy's jarring shifts between crude humor and mawkish sentimentality." The film received a score of 41% on Metacritic.[2]

The film won the People's Choice Awards for Favorite Comedy Motion Picture in 2000.[4] For its shortcomings however, the film was also nominated for five Razzie Awards including Worst Picture, Worst Director, Worst Supporting Actor for Rob Schneider and Worst Screenplay, with Adam Sandler winning Worst Actor. This was the first Adam Sandler film to be nominated for Worst Picture.[5]


The film won a BMI Film Music Award.[citation needed] The soundtrack included the following:

Track listing
  1. "Sweet Child o' Mine" by Sheryl Crow (a Guns N' Roses cover)
  2. "When I Grow Up" by Garbage
  3. "Peace Out" by Adam Sandler (a sound clip from a scene in the movie)
  4. "Just Like This" by Limp Bizkit
  5. "Only Love Can Break Your Heart" by Everlast (a Neil Young cover)
  6. "Ga Ga" by Melanie Chisholm
  7. "What Is Life" by George Harrison, covered in movie by Shawn Mullins
  8. "The Kiss" by Adam Sandler (a sound clip from a scene in the movie)
  9. "Instant Pleasure" by Rufus Wainwright
  10. "Ooh La La" by Wise Guys
  11. "Sid" by Adam Sandler (a sound clip from a scene in the movie)
  12. "If I Can't Have You" by Yvonne Elliman
  13. "Smelly Kid" by Adam Sandler (a sound clip from a scene in the movie)
  14. "Passing Me By" by The Pharcyde (a sound clip from a scene in the movie)
  15. "Rush" by Big Audio Dynamite
  16. "Hooters" by Allen Covert (a sound clip from a scene in the movie)
  17. "Babe" by Styx
  18. "Overtime" by Adam Sandler (a sound clip from a scene in the movie)
  19. "The Kangaroo Song" by Tim Herlihy (made specifically for the movie)
  20. "The Best of Times" by Styx (only a portion of the song)
Other songs used in the film
Songs from the theatrical trailer not in the film


External links[edit]