The Waterboy


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

The Waterboy
"Making fun of learning difficulties is not nice. Mommy says so."

Steve Martin tried it in The Jerk. Tom Hanks flaunted it in Forrest Gump. Jerry Lewis should have patented it. Moron humour appeals to people, especially North Americans. You worry about the state of the nation.

There is one joke. Bobby Boucher (Adam Sandler) behaves like a seven-year-old mommy's boy, when he's 30. Mommy (Kathy Bates) lives in the Louisiana swamps with a donkey. Bobby is the waterboy for a football team, which means he provides the stuff when anyone's thirsty. The players torment him and the coach sacks him.

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He goes to the worst team in the league and offers his services free. Its coach (Henry "The Fonz" Winkler) encourages Bobby to have angry thoughts, become a player and decimate the opposition on rage power alone. Being a kid (in his head), Bobby does what he's told and soon he's the star quarterback. Instead of being bullied, he is lionised. Even girls make passes, which is a problem. He doesn't undertand what to do with girls. The film goes off the embarrassment scale into an area of painful disbelief. Kindergarten comedy has never been this facile. It makes the Police Academy series look like the Marx Brothers.

Even if laughter were possible - Sandler tries everything in The Slapstick Handbook - it would be inappropriate. Making fun of learning difficulties is not nice. Mommy says so.

Reviewed on: 19 Jan 2001
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Moron waterboy becomes high-school football's brightest star.
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Director: Frank Coraci

Writer: Tim Herlihy Adam Sandler

Starring: Adam Sandler, Kathy Bates, Henry Winkler, Fairuza Balk, Jerry Reed, Larry Gilliard Jr

Year: 1998

Runtime: 89 minutes

BBFC: 12 - Age Restricted

Country: US


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Forrest Gump
The Longest Yard