Even by Adam Sandler standards, this film is pretty bad…
“The Week Of” stars Sandler as a father whose daughter is set to get married, and he must work with the father of the groom (Chris Rock) in order to overcome a series of obstacles. Rachel Dratch, Steve Buscemi, Allison Strong and Noah Robbins also star as Robert Smigel directs (and also co-wrote the script with Sandler).
This is the fourth film of Sandler’s partnership deal with Netflix (originally it was capped at four but I guess these have been so successful that Netflix decided to up his deal to eight). The first film, “The Ridiculous Six,” came out in December 2015 and was truly awful, and it was followed in May 2016 by “The Do-Over” (which I didn’t totally hate but like, it’s not good). I didn’t watch last April’s “Sandy Wexler” as an entire film of Sandler doing his high-pitched kid voice is enough to make me want to kiss a train. So we’ve arrived at “The Week Of” which, like all these other films, stars a few Sandler besties and is directed by a previous collaborator, just so they can hang out and make a few cool thousand dollars, all under the guise of making a movie.
The sheer laziness of this film would astound me if not for the fact that Sandler’s projects have slowly been building toward this basement level of bad. The film appears to (this is completely my deduction) use Go-Pro camera on multiple occasions, creating an awkward warp around the sides of the frame. In order to get proper reaction shots while filming conversations in a car I guess I can understand it, it worked on “The Office,” but they seem to do it when characters are simply standing around in a room. Like are you *that* lazy and cheap that you can’t put out for a real camera set for the month it took to film this thing?
The editing is also just completely devoid of any effort or creativity, with jump cuts that make the film look like an amateur YouTube sketch. Well, I take that bad. Calling this a YouTube sketch is offensive to the creators who bust their butts and scratch their brains creating original content.
The film is nearly two hours long which is a sin because just nothing happening funny so the 116 minutes goes by at a molasses pace. Sandler is completely phoning it in which is a damn shame because his performance in last year’s “The Meyerowitz Stories” (ironically another Netflix film, check it out!) is so damn good. Sandler has shown he can be a truly great actor and it makes these lazy cashgrabs even worse.
Chris Rock clearly doesn’t want to be here and is doing this as a favor to his buddy Adam, but the guy is barely in the film. For the first 40 minutes he only had two scenes, and when he does show up he is in it so sporadic that it’s clear they shot around his schedule. There is a depressing lack of celebrity cameos, especially by Sandler standards, which would’ve at least offered a brief moment of fresh air.
“The Week Of” could have been a decent high-concept comedy with some dumb laughs but besides maybe three or four chuckles I just kept wanted it to be over. It is about as fun as being at a wedding where you know no one, and seeing as Netflix isn’t providing viewers with an open bar it makes the experience even more insufferable.
Critic’s Grade: D–
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