I guess I missed the other three, because I just read that The Week Of is the fourth Adam Sandler movie to premiere on Netflix; it starts on Friday. It stars Sandler and Chris Rock as dads: Sandler’s daughter is marrying Rock’s son, and, just as the title says, this romantic comedy is about the week leading up to the wedding. Sandler’s Kenny Lustig is a Long Island working-class lug with a big family and little cash to spend. Rock’s Kirby Cordice is a prosperous, playboy cardiac surgeon who’s reluctant to attend the wedding. The idea is to contrast the two men — Kenny the enthusiastic family man; Kirby the largely absent dad — while cranking up the volume of Sandler’s braying voice.
This Netflix original is directed by Robert Smigel, creator of Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, and co-written by Sandler and Smigel. The production is heavily tilted toward Sandler: The action takes place largely in Kenny’s cramped house, where his wife (played by Rachel Dratch) and his children have to make room for a wide variety of wedding guests visiting from out of town. These include the family’s Uncle Seymour, a double-amputee whose lack of legs is the source of far too many jokes.
If you’re willing to take The Week Of on its own terms, it’s a goodhearted, sentimental comedy that wants to be The Father of the Bride with more vulgarity. Smigel and Sandler insert a slightly subtle edge here and there. They make politically incorrect jokes about the strippers at the bachelor party, and, via war veteran Uncle Seymour, have a good sneer at all of that cloyingly excessive “Thank you for your service” mawkishness that Fox News has helped spread across the country.
Sandler and Smigel are generous to the large cast, spreading the jokes around, although it’s odd that Kirby’s son — the groom — barely registers as a character at all. Rock strolls through the movie amiably, and Steve Buscemi has an extended cameo as a rude relative who perks up the film at regular intervals. If you want to see Sandler doing much better work, there’s a better Netflix movie to look at: Noah Baumbach’s superb The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected).
The Week Of is streaming now on Netflix.
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