Big Daddy (1999 film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Dennis Dugan|
|Produced by||Allen Covert
|Written by||Steve Franks
Joey Lauren Adams
|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|
|June 25, 1999|
|Box office||$234.8 million|
Big Daddy is a 1999 American comedy film directed by Dennis Dugan and starring Adam Sandler and the Sprouse twins. 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  as well as a score of 41% on Metacritic. It was Adam Sandler's last film before starting his production company, Happy Madison Productions. It was also Sandler's first film distributed by Columbia Pictures.
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 tollbooth attendant, and more or less does this job just to get out of the apartment once in a while.
Finally having enough of Sonny's refusing to grow up, his girlfriend, Vanessa (Kristy Swanson), tells Sonny that she's going to break up with him unless he can prove to her that he can be a responsible adult. 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 the day before he is leaving for China for his law firm.
Sonny awakes to find five-year-old Julian (Cole Sprouse and Dylan Sprouse) abandoned at his and Kevin's apartment, with a written explanation that Julian's mother is now declining to care further for Julian, and that Kevin is his biological father. Sonny notifies Kevin of the situation, which he denies (to the best of his knowledge), and Sonny offers to handle it until he returns from China. Sonny poses as Kevin and uses Julian as a means to win Vanessa back. However, when Sonny introduces Julian to Vanessa, he finds out that she's already broken up with Sonny and she's now dating a much older man, Sid (Geoffrey Horne), who's more mature and career-oriented, even having a "5-year plan".
Sonny then takes Julian to his social worker, Arthur Brooks (Josh Mostel), telling him that Julian should return to his mother. Brooks tells Sonny that Julian's mother had died of cancer, thus explaining why she sent Julian to be with Kevin. He tells Sonny that they could take Julian, but he would have to live in a group home, which Sonny realizes is the equivalent of an orphanage. Sonny offers to keep Julian temporarily until Brooks finds a foster home for Julian. Sonny then calls his father, Lenny (Joseph Bologna), who's one of Florida's most respected lawyers, and informs him of his situation. Lenny tells Sonny that he's going to fail taking care of Julian, to which Sonny takes offense. After a conversation with Julian, Sonny decides to raise Julian his own way, giving Julian options instead of orders to let Julian decide for himself, all while teaching Julian new things such as baseball and pro wrestling. Julian also helps Sonny get a potential new girlfriend in Layla (Joey Lauren Adams), Corinne's sister, who's also a lawyer. This creates friction as Sonny and Corinne do not get along, with Corinne's former occupation as a Hooter's waitress being the primary butt of his jokes.
Soon, Brooks leaves messages for Sonny, saying that a foster home has been found for Julian, but Sonny refuses to call back, having become attached to Julian. Later, at an open house at the school Julian now attends, the teacher tells Sonny that Julian has taken up many bad habits of Sonny's, which causes him to rethink his parenting methods. He's able to turn himself and Julian around, but then Brooks arrives, having learned that Sonny's been posing as Kevin. He orders Sonny to surrender Julian to social services, lest Sonny be arrested for having (technically) kidnapped Julian. Sonny reluctantly gives Julian up and then promptly arranges a court case to determine Julian's future.
In court, with himself and Layla as his counsels, numerous people that Sonny knows testify, telling the judge that he's a suitable father. Even Corinne, who harbors a deep hatred for Sonny, admits that he cares for Julian. Julian testifies as well, not only talking about all the good times he's had with Sonny, but also revealing relevant information regarding his original heritage. As a final attempt to win custody of Julian, Sonny calls himself to the stand and asks his father, who's attending as well, to question him. Lenny quickly gets Sonny to admit to several occasions where he was responsible for someone and was terribly unsuccessful, which he cites as proof that Sonny's not father material. At this point, Sonny quietly tells Lenny that the only reason he's doing this is because Lenny's scared that Sonny will fail, which Sonny assures him that he won't because he loves Julian too much to fail, just like Lenny loves Sonny enough to be scared for him. Seeing Sonny's sincerity, Lenny vouches for Sonny as well.
Nonetheless, the judge is unconvinced, citing that Sonny, according to law, still kidnapped Julian and orders for his arrest. Kevin, having recalled a drunken fling with a Hooter's girl in Toronto during the 1993 World Series upon hearing Julian's testimony of being five years old with a birthday in July, and originally being from Toronto, realizes that he is Julian's biological father and declares that he will not allow charges against Sonny. Social service and the court agree to award custody to Kevin (pending DNA results). Julian tearfully hugs Sonny, wanting Sonny to be his father. Sonny promises Julian that he will always be his friend and he will always consider Julian part of his family. With that Sonny hands Julian off to Kevin, watching the two slowly start to bond.
One year, three months, and six days later, Sonny's revealed to have turned his life around. He's finally taken his bar exam, is now a lawyer himself and is married to Layla with a child of their own. Julian is also happy with his new life with Kevin and Corinne, who's also more friendly to Sonny now. At Sonny's surprise birthday party at a Hooter's, Sonny finds Vanessa working there as a waitress, with Sid working as a cook, revealing that Sid's "five-year-plan" has gone awry.
- Adam Sandler as Sonny Koufax
- Cole Sprouse and Dylan Sprouse as Julian 'Frankenstein' McGrath
- Joey Lauren Adams as Layla Maloney
- Jon Stewart as Kevin Gerrity
- Leslie Mann as Corinne Maloney
- Rob Schneider as Nazo
- Jonathan Loughran as Mike
- Allen Covert as Phil D'Amato
- Peter Dante as Tommy Grayton
- Kristy Swanson as Vanessa
- Joseph Bologna as Lenny Koufax
- Steve Buscemi as Homeless Guy
- Josh Mostel as Arthur Brooks
- Edmund Lyndeck as Mr. Herlihy
- Geoffrey Horne as Sid
- Harold O'Lena as Scuba Steve
- Method Man as Man #7
Big Daddy received generally mixed reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes the film had an 40% rating by the critics. 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.
The film won the People's Choice Awards for Favorite Comedy Motion Picture in 2000. 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.
- Track listing
- "Sweet Child o' Mine" by Sheryl Crow (a Guns N' Roses cover)
- "When I Grow Up" by Garbage
- "Peace Out" by Adam Sandler (a sound clip from a scene in the movie)
- "Just Like This" by Limp Bizkit
- "Only Love Can Break Your Heart" by Everlast (a Neil Young cover)
- "Ga Ga" by Melanie Chisholm
- "What Is Life" by George Harrison, covered in movie by Shawn Mullins
- "The Kiss" by Adam Sandler (a sound clip from a scene in the movie)
- "Instant Pleasure" by Rufus Wainwright
- "Ooh La La" by Wise Guys
- "Sid" by Adam Sandler (a sound clip from a scene in the movie)
- "If I Can't Have You" by Yvonne Elliman
- "Smelly Kid" by Adam Sandler (a sound clip from a scene in the movie)
- "Passing Me By" by The Pharcyde (a sound clip from a scene in the movie)
- "Rush" by Big Audio Dynamite
- "Hooters" by Allen Covert (a sound clip from a scene in the movie)
- "Babe" by Styx
- "Overtime" by Adam Sandler (a sound clip from a scene in the movie)
- "The Kangaroo Song" by Tim Herlihy (made specifically for the movie)
- "The Best of Times" by Styx (only a portion of the song)
- Other songs used in the film
- "Dancing in the Moonlight" by The CrownSayers (originally done by King Harvest)
- "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" (the title track from a 1983 album by Eurythmics)
- "Growin' Up" (a song from Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J.#"Growin' Up" by Bruce Springsteen)
- "Instant Pleasure" by Rufus Wainwright
- "Sweet Child o' Mine" a re-recorded version taken from a live version played by Guns N' Roses mixed with a recording with the 1999 Guns N' Roses lineup
- "When I Grow Up" by Garbage
- "Jump" by Van Halen background music on the answering machine message in Sonny's apartment
- "Growin' Up" by Bruce Springsteen
- "Save It For Later" by Harvey Danger (originally by The English Beat)
- "Blue Collar Man" by Styx
- "Eye of the Tiger" by Survivor
- "Night's Interlude" by Nightmares on Wax (Song played during opening credits)
- "Passing Me By" by Tha Pharcyde (Song played during opening credits) Sampled/cover of song above.
- Songs from the theatrical trailer not in the film
- "Big Daddy (1999) - Box Office Mojo". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on 21 February 2010. Retrieved 2010-03-13.
- "Big Daddy reviews at Metacritic.com". Metacritic. Retrieved 2010-03-13.
- "Big Daddy Movie Reviews". Rotten Tomatoes. Archived from the original on 22 March 2010. Retrieved 2010-03-13.
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Big Daddy|
- Big Daddy at the Internet Movie Database
- Big Daddy at Box Office Mojo
- Big Daddy at Rotten Tomatoes
- Big Daddy at Metacritic