That's My Boy (2012 film)

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That's My Boy
That's My Boy poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed bySean Anders
Produced byAdam Sandler
Allen Covert
Jack Giarraputo
Written byDavid Caspe
Music byRupert Gregson-Williams
CinematographyBrandon Trost
Edited byTom Costain
Distributed byColumbia Pictures
Release date
  • June 15, 2012 (2012-06-15) (United States)
Running time
114 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Budget$70 million[1]
Box office$57.7 million[1]

That's My Boy is a 2012 American satirical dark comedy film directed by Sean Anders and starring Adam Sandler and Andy Samberg. The film is about an alcoholic slacker named Donny Berger (Sandler) who fathered a son (Samberg) with his teacher as a teenager. Donny owes $43,000 in back taxes and will have to serve a three-year prison sentence if he does not pay it off by the end of the weekend, which happens to be his son's wedding weekend.

Released on June 15, 2012 by Columbia Pictures, it was a critical and financial failure, grossing just $57 million against a $70 million budget.


In 1984, middle-school student Donny Berger is in detention when he begins a sexual relationship with his teacher, Mary McGarricle. When this relationship is discovered, she is sentenced to a maximum-penalty prison term of 30 years, and while she's there she discovers that she's pregnant. Donny's abusive father is given custody of the child until Donny turns 18 and assumes full custody.

By 2012, Donny is a broke, alcoholic slacker who spends his time with his friends, local drunk Kenny, bartender Brie, and her stripper mother Champale. Donny is now estranged from his son Han Solo who, embarrassed by his parents' scandalous past and Donny's immaturity, has changed his name to Todd Peterson to avoid discovery of his parentage. Todd is now a successful businessman getting ready to marry Jamie Martin at her family's Cape Cod residence.

Donny learns from his lawyer, Jim Nance, that he owes $43,000 in back-taxes to the IRS and will be imprisoned for three years if he doesn't repay the money by the end of the weekend. However, Nance has him place a $20 bet on a morbidly-obese marathon runner named Tubby Tuke, who has 8000:1 odds of finishing first in the following Monday's Boston Marathon. Despite this, Donny realizes that he needs a back-up plan should Tubby Tuke lose. He visits TV producer Randall Morgan, 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 at the women's prison.

Donny arrives at Cape Cod to try to convince Todd to participate. Todd had previously told people his parents were dead, so he introduces Donny as an old friend. Donny quickly becomes well-liked by the others, much to Todd's chagrin and at the expense of his popularity. Donny tries to convince Todd to see his mother at the women's prison, without revealing that it is for a TV show, but he refuses. Todd fights constantly with Donny about his father's immaturity. Donny admits his mistake by revealing he was young and didn't know how to be a father since his own never taught him how. Todd eventually imitates his father's behavior, including engaging in a fight with Father McNally, cancelling the church rehearsal. Before Jamie's family can blame Todd, Donny saves him by convincing his future in-laws to have the wedding rehearsal away from churches because Todd is still traumatized from one that killed his parents.

Donny joins Todd and his friends at Todd's bachelor party, a relaxing day at a spa but convinces the guys to attend a strip club where Todd eventually agrees to meet his mother at the women's prison. Donny tries to stop the meeting, knowing a TV crew will be there, but Todd goes anyway. Mary, Donny, and Todd's personal moment is ambushed by Randall Morgan's TV crew. A disgusted Todd leaves without signing a release form, which leaves Donny with no 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 that fools Todd. With some encouragement from Kenny, Donny attempts to patch things up with Jamie, but instead discovers her with her brother Chad having sex at a hotel room. Realizing that she could lose Todd if Donny tells him about her sexual affairs with both Chad and Steve, she gives him a $50,000 check to keep him quiet. Despite Jamie's hush money, Donny must stop the wedding. With the help of Vanilla Ice, his friend from his celebrity days, they get to the wedding in time. Donny reveals himself to be Todd's father, rips up Jamie's check, and forces her to admit her actions behind Todd's back. Todd breaks up with Jamie, accepts Donny as his father, and takes back his birth name of Han Solo Berger.

At the strip club the following day, Han reveals himself to be dating Brie and offers Donny the money to pay his unpaid taxes. Donny turns down the offer, accepting it's time for him to take responsibility for his actions. He prepares to go to prison to rekindle his relationship with Mary after his term is over, but the bet he placed on Tubby Tuke wins him $160,000, keeping him out of prison.



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.[2][3] Filming began on May 2, 2011 and ended on July 15, 2011.


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.[1] This was Sandler's third box office failure, with the other two being Little Nicky, Punch-Drunk Love.[4]

Critical reception[edit]

On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 20% based on 113 reviews, with an average rating of 3.4/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "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."[5] On Metacritic the film has a normalized score of 31 out of 100, based on 27 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".[6][7] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B–" on an A to F scale.[8]

Justin Chang of Variety called it "a shameless celebration of degenerate behavior, a work of relentless vulgarity and staggering moral idiocy."[9] 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."[10] Online review show Half in the Bag called the film "pathetic" and "painful", and went on to criticize Sandler as a comic, suggesting he was unable to create humor that was not based on childish jokes.[11]

The film was criticized for making light of statutory rape, incest and child neglect.[12][13][14]

Home media[edit]

The film was released to DVD and Blu-Ray on October 16, 2012 by Sony Pictures. [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
Teen Choice Awards[18] Choice Summer Movie: Comedy/Music Nominated
Choice Summer Movie Star: Male Adam Sandler
Choice Summer Movie Star: Female Leighton Meester

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d That's My Boy at Box Office Mojo
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ That's My Boy at Rotten Tomatoes
  6. ^ That's My Boy at Metacritic
  7. ^ Mary Kay Letourneau's teen lover-turned-husband: Adam Sandler's movie is about us! (June 22, 2012). Retrieved on August 15, 2012.
  8. ^ "Box Office Analysis: 'That's My Boy' Marks Second Disappointment in a Row for Adam Sandler". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2017-10-11.
  9. ^ Chang, Justin (June 14, 2012). "Review: That's My Boy". Variety. Retrieved February 23, 2017.
  10. ^ Duralde, Alonso (June 13, 2012). "'That's My Boy' Review: Not Adam Sandler's Worst, But Still Terrible". Retrieved August 24, 2017.
  11. ^ Half in the Bag: ABRAHAM LINCOLN: VAMPIRE HUNTER and THAT'S MY BOY (July 28, 2012). Retrieved on August 26, 2012.
  12. ^ Rabin, Nathan (November 28, 2012). "Stooping To Stumble Case File #29: That's My Boy". The A.V. Club. Retrieved February 23, 2017.
  13. ^ Patterson, John (September 1, 2012). "Adam Sandler's That's My Boy - giving gross-out a bad name". The Guardian. Retrieved February 23, 2017.
  14. ^ Ablow, Keith (May 2, 2012). "There's nothing funny about rape and Adam Sandler's new movie 'That's My Boy' | Fox News". FOX News Network, LLC. Retrieved August 24, 2017.
  15. ^ "That's My Boy: Releases". AllMovie. Retrieved 20 February 2017.
  16. ^ "2012 Houston Film Critics Nominees - Winners". Archived from the original on March 21, 2015. Retrieved January 10, 2013.
  17. ^ "Dawn Breaks for TWILIGHT, Sandler and Rihanna at 33rd RAZZIE® AWARDS". Archived from the original on February 27, 2013. Retrieved February 24, 2013.
  18. ^ "Breaking Dawn leads the way at Teen Choice Awards nominations". Winnipeg Free Press. June 15, 2012. Retrieved June 16, 2012.

External links[edit]