That's My Boy (2012 film)

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That's My Boy
That's My Boy poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Sean Anders
Produced by Adam Sandler
Allen Covert
Jack Giarraputo
Written by David Caspe
Starring Adam Sandler
Andy Samberg
Music by Rupert Gregson-Williams
Cinematography Brandon Trost
Edited by Tom Costain
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release dates
  • June 4, 2012 (2012-06-04) (Los Angeles premiere)
  • June 15, 2012 (2012-06-15) (United States)
Running time
114 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $70 million[2][3]
Box office $57.7 million[3]

That's My Boy[4] is a 2012 American comedy film directed by Sean Anders, written by David Caspe, and stars Adam Sandler and Andy Samberg.

The film is about an alcoholic slacker named Donny Berger who fathered a son with his school teacher. Donny owes $43,000 in back taxes to the IRS and will have to serve a 3-year sentence in prison if he does not pay it off by the end of the weekend, which happens to be his son's wedding weekend.

It was produced by Sandler's production company Happy Madison and shot in the Massachusetts area.[5] It was released on June 15, 2012,[6][7] and distributed by Columbia Pictures.

The film was a critical and commercial failure, and was consequently nominated for eight Golden Raspberry Awards, ultimately winning in the categories of Worst Actor and Worst Screenplay.


In 1984, Donny Berger's teacher, a hebephile named Mary McGarricle (Eva Amurri Martino), begins a sexual relationship with him. When she is discovered inciting him to sexual activity on a piano during an assembly, she is sentenced to a lengthy prison term where it is revealed she is pregnant. The court gives custody of the unborn child to Donny's abusive father until Donny himself is at the legal age to assume custody.

In 2012, Donny (Adam Sandler) is a broke alcoholic slacker who spends his time with his friends, bartender Brie (Ciara) and her stripper mother Champale (Luenell). Donny is estranged from his son who, embarrassed by Donny's immaturity, has changed his name to Todd Peterson (Andy Samberg). Todd, a successful businessman, has recently arrived at the Cape Cod house of his boss, where he is to marry his fiancée, Jamie Martin (Leighton Meester).

Donny learns from his lawyer, Jim Nance (Rex Ryan), that he owes $43,000 to the IRS in back-taxes and will be imprisoned for three years if he doesn't repay the money by the end of the weekend. He visits TV producer Randall Morgan (Dan Patrick), who had produced shows for Donny during his brief period of celebrity, and Morgan offers him $50,000 if he can organize a reunion with Todd and Mary McGarricle at the women's prison.

Donny arrives at Cape Cod to try to convince Todd to participate. Because he had previously told people that his parents had died, Todd introduces Donny as an old friend. Donny quickly becomes well-liked by the others, at the expense of Todd's popularity. Donny tries to convince Todd to come to the women's prison to see his mother, without revealing that it is for a TV show, but he refuses. Todd fights constantly with Donny about his father's immaturity, both now and during his childhood. Donny admits he was wrong for his actions and should've stopped himself, but didn't know how to be a father himself. After spending more time with Donny, Todd soon imitates his father's behavior, ultimately having the wedding rehearsal at the church cancelled by engaging in a fist fight with Father McNally (James Caan), the parish priest. Donny saves Todd from further embarrassment by convincing his future-in-laws to move the rehearsal from churches because he's still going through the trauma of losing both his parents in one.

Donny joins Todd and his friends at Todd's bachelor party, a relaxing day at a spa. However, Donny convinces the guys to attend a strip club where Todd bonds with Brie. Over the course of the evening, Todd bonds with his father and agrees to meet his mother (Susan Sarandon) at the prison. Donny, knowing that a TV crew will be waiting, tries to stop the meeting from happening, but Todd goes to the prison anyway. Todd, Donny, and Mary are ambushed by the film crew and a disgusted Todd leaves without signing a release form, leaving Donny without any money.

Donny overhears Jamie on the phone with Todd's boss, Steve Spirou, having a conversation that implies they've been sleeping together behind Todd's back. He tries to warn Todd, but Jamie comes up with a convincing cover story. Later, Donny discovers Jamie having sex with her brother Chad (Milo Ventimiglia) at a hotel room. Realizing that she could lose Todd if Donny tells him about her sexual affair with both Chad and Steve, she gives him a $50,000 check in order to keep him quiet.

After receiving a conciliatory present from Todd, an oven mitt he used to cheer him up when he was younger, Donny decides that in spite of Jamie's hush money, he has to stop the wedding. He teams up with his friend from his brief celebrity days, Vanilla Ice, in a desperate bid to get to the wedding in time. At the ceremony, he reveals himself to be Todd's father and rips up Jamie's check. He forces her to admit her infidelity to Todd. A disgusted Todd breaks up with Jamie and calls off the wedding. He quits his job and acknowledges Donny as his father and even takes back his birth name of Han Solo Berger.

The following day at the strip club, Han reveals that he is dating Brie and offers Donny the money to help pay for the unpaid taxes. However, Donny refuses Han's offer, stating that it's time for him to grow up and accept responsibility for his own actions. Donny is preparing to go to prison and rekindle his relationship with Mary, when a bet he placed wins him enough money to satisfy the IRS. The film ends with Donny and Han celebrating with the rest of their friends.



The film was originally titled I Hate You, Dad, and then changed to Donny's Boy before the producers finally settled on That's My Boy.[4][8] Filming began on May 2, 2011 and ended on July 15, 2011.


A red-band trailer was released on March 1, 2012.[7] A green-band trailer was later released on March 5, 2012. On June 1, 2012, the whole cast sat down with MTV on the City Walk stage to discuss the film, their individual upcoming projects and also participated in a Q&A with the audience. The film was also promoted through the 2012 MTV Movie Awards, where Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, and Leighton Meester were presenters for Best Kiss.

A spoof trailer was posted by Samberg on The Lonely Island's YouTube account on June 1, 2012.[9]



In many countries, the film was edited for less restrictive ratings, most notably being originally rated NC-17 by the MPAA due to its non-stop explicit sexual content, making the film Sandler's only attempt at an NC-17 rated film. The film was later re-rated R on appeal for "crude sexual content throughout, nudity, pervasive language and some drug use". It was his seventh movie to be given that rating with the other six being Going Overboard (his film debut), Shakes the Clown, Bulletproof, Punch-Drunk Love, Reign Over Me and Funny People.

Box office[edit]

The film opened on June 15, 2012, grossing $13,453,714 in its opening weekend, ranking #4 behind the second weekends of Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted and Prometheus, and the opening of Rock of Ages.

The film grossed $36,931,089 domestically and $57,719,093 worldwide and failing to recoup its $70 million budget, making it a financial failure.[3] This was Sandler's fourth box office failure, with the other three being Little Nicky, Punch-Drunk Love and Reign Over Me.[10]

Critical reception[edit]

That's My Boy received negative reviews from critics and has a "rotten" score of 20% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 113 reviews with an average rating of 3.4 out of 10. The critical consensus states: "While it does represent a new foray into raunch for the normally PG-13 Sandler, That's My Boy finds him repeating himself to diminishing effect – and dragging Andy Samberg down with him."[11] The film also has a score of 31 out of 100 on Metacritic based on 27 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".[12][13]

The film was criticized for making light of statutory rape, incest and child neglect. Online review show Half in the Bag called the film "pathetic" and "painful", and went on to criticize Sandler as a comic, including his inability to create real humor that isn't based on childish jokes.[14] Bob Fishbach from the Omaha World Herald gave the film one out of four stars, saying that it was "worse than Sandler's previous stinker, Jack and Jill."[citation needed] Richard Roeper gave the film an "F" rating, calling it "an ugly, tasteless, deadly and mean-spirited piece of filmmaking", while Alonso Duralde gave the film a scathing review, calling it "vulgar, trite, sexist, misogynist, hacky, tacky, gross, sentimental and stupid, with occasional flourishes of racism and veiled homophobia thrown in to boot."[15]


Award Category Recipient(s) Result
Houston Film Critics Society[16] Worst Film Won
33rd Golden Raspberry Awards[17] Worst Picture Nominated
Worst Actor Adam Sandler Won
Worst Supporting Actor Nick Swardson Nominated
Vanilla Ice (as himself)
Worst Director Sean Anders
Worst Screenplay written by David Caspe, uncredited rewrites by Adam Sandler, Tim Herlihy, Robert Smigel, David Wain, and Ken Marino Won
Worst Screen Couple Adam Sandler and either Leighton Meester, Andy Samberg, or Susan Sarandon Nominated
Worst Ensemble The entire cast of That's My Boy
Teen Choice Awards[18] Choice Summer Movie: Comedy/Music Nominated
Choice Summer Movie Star: Male Adam Sandler
Choice Summer Movie Star: Female Leighton Meester

Home media[edit]

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment released That's My Boy on DVD and Blu-ray on October 16, 2012.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ That's My Boy (15)British Board of Film Classification
  2. ^ Kaufman, Amy (June 14, 2012). "Movie Projector: 'Madagascar 3' to top 'Rock' musical, Sandler comedy". Retrieved June 14, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c That's My Boy at Box Office Mojo
  4. ^ a b Ngo, Binh (February 3, 2012). "Adam Sandler's Upcoming Comedy 'Donny's Boy' Changed to 'That's My Boy'". Movies with Butter. Retrieved February 28, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Thursday, July, 21: Filming Locations in NYC, Detroit, Chicago, & more including AWOL, Boss, and SVU". On Location Vacations. July 9, 2011. Retrieved July 21, 2011. 
  6. ^ "I Hate You, Dad". CraveOnline. Retrieved July 21, 2011. 
  7. ^ a b Ng, Philiana (March 1, 2012). "'That's My Boy' Red-Band Trailer With Adam Sandler and Andy Samberg Hits the Web (Video)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 1, 2012. 
  8. ^ Eisenberg, Eric (January 16, 2011). "Adam Sandler Comedy I Hate You, Dad Retitled Donny's Boy, First Image Arrives Online". Cinema Blend. Retrieved January 19, 2012. 
  9. ^ "That's My Boy Trailer – Samberg Cut" on YouTube
  10. ^ Rosen, Christopher (June 16, 2012). "'That's My Boy' Box Office: Adam Sandler Comedy Bombs, Tom Cruise's 'Rock Of Ages' Disappoints". Huffington Post. Retrieved June 17, 2012. 
  11. ^ That's My Boy at Rotten Tomatoes
  12. ^ That's My Boy at Metacritic
  13. ^ Mary Kay Letourneau's teen lover-turned-husband: Adam Sandler's movie is about us! (2012-06-22). Retrieved on August 15, 2012.
  14. ^ Half in the Bag: ABRAHAM LINCOLN: VAMPIRE HUNTER and THAT'S MY BOY (2012-07-28). Retrieved on August 26, 2012.
  15. ^
  16. ^ "2012 Houston Film Critics Nominees - Winners". Retrieved January 10, 2013. 
  17. ^ "Dawn Breaks for TWILIGHT, Sandler and Rihanna at 33rd RAZZIE® AWARDS". Retrieved February 24.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  18. ^ "Breaking Dawn leads the way at Teen Choice Awards nominations". Winnipeg Free Press. June 15, 2012. Retrieved June 16, 2012. 

External links[edit]