In something of an astonishing turnaround, Adam Sandler is finally on the right side of the critics.
And not only that, his latest movie, ‘The Meyerowitz Stories’, got itself a four-minute standing ovation on its premiere at Cannes yesterday.
Sporting a new moustache on the red carpet at the annual film festival, he posed for pictures with the film’s director and writer Noah Baumbach, and his co-stars Ben Stiller, Emma Thompson and Dustin Hoffman.
The film finds him leading this New York-shot family comedy, in which he plays a the son to Dustin Hoffman’s cantankerous sculptor and college professor.
Stiller is his wealthy half-brother, an LA business manager, with whom there are simmering tensions.
As the credits rolled on the Netflix-distributed movie, the audience stood and clapped for four minutes.
Many are calling it Sandler’s best performance for 15 years, following his acclaimed leading role in Paul Thomas Anderson’s ‘Punch-Drunk Love’, and not a few critical beat-downs n the years since.
In recent years, Sandler has taken a drubbing for his own self-produced movies, with critics hating the likes of ‘Jack and Jill’, ‘The Ridiculous 6’, ‘The Do-Over’ and ‘Sandy Wexler’, those last three projects being part of a four-movie deal he signed with Netflix.
‘The Ridiculous 6’ has a rare 0% approval rating on reviews aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, while ‘The Do-Over’ did little better with 5%, while ‘Sandy Wexler’ at least persuading 28% of critics to review him favourably.
But by comparison ‘The Meyerowitz Stories’ has sailed to a 91% approval rating at the time of publishing, with The Guardian calling Sandler ‘a formidable screen actor’.
Peter Bradshaw writes: “Sandler… is very convincing as an unassuming guy with no very great idea or opinion of himself.
“It shows that he is a formidable screen actor.”
Todd McCarthy in The Hollywood Reporter, generally no fan of Sandler, added: “More conventionally conceived than some of [Baumbach’s] best work but benefits from sterling turns from a wonderful cast, most notably Dustin Hoffman and, no kidding, Adam Sandler.
“Sandler, who has spent most of his career hiding the fact that he can hold his own and more with the likes of his co-stars here; it’s a legitimately fine and felt presentation of a modern sad sack.”
The Skinny added: “Sandler’s turn is so good it could kickstart a minor comeback after his years in the wilderness.”