2119. The Waterboy (1998)

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6.9 Not very funny, but harmless
  • Acting 6.8
  • Directing 7.1
  • Story 6.7
  • User Ratings (0 Votes) 0

Starring: Adam Sandler, Kathy Bates, Henry Winkler

Director: Frank Coraci

Running Time: 90 mins


The Waterboy is an American film about a man working as a waterboy for a college football team who discovers he has an incredible tackling ability, leading him to become the team’s star player.

Adam Sandler isn’t the one to inspire great confidence when it comes to looking for a good comedy, but The Waterboy thankfully isn’t one of his worst. Although I can’t say it’s particularly hilarious (save for a couple of good laughs here and there), it’s a fairly harmless and easy-going watch that’s nowhere near on the annoying level of the worst we’ve seen from Sandler, meaning that you can sit back and enjoy a bit of silliness for an hour and a half.

Let’s start off with the comedy, which is usually what makes or breaks Sandler’s films. Much like Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore and more, The Waterboy features Sandler playing a character with a stupid voice and an idiotic character. Much like those two other films, that central joke was a bit of mixed bag for me.

On the one hand, Sandler gives a performance that’s got a bit more energy and charisma to it than some of his most screechy turns in the likes of Jack And Jill and That’s My Boy, meaning that he’s not a constantly grating presence throughout. On the other hand, the main character’s stupid appearance is pretty much the only running joke, yet the humour of it wears off after a few minutes, meaning that it feels like an unnecessary, dull and rather forced gag that’s constantly pushed on you even though you’re not laughing at it any more.

In terms of the rest of the humour, it’s fairly harmless throughout. I’m not expecting world-beating satire and wit from this sort of movie, so its simple and easy-going humour is enough to satisfy you when looking for an easy way to pass an hour and a half, even if the majority of it doesn’t really make you laugh.

Unlike the most juvenile Adam Sandler films, there’s no idiotic toilet humour or anything particularly offensive, which is okay, but in terms of providing a properly funny comedy from beginning to end, The Waterboy just isn’t up to scratch, and it really didn’t make me laugh enough to keep me fully engaged with the film.

Like I said, there’s nothing about The Waterboy that will really annoy or offend you, but there’s still nothing about it that will really entertain you either, making it a bit of a middling film that’s neither here nor there when it comes to being a decent comedy, which is why I’m giving it a 6.9 overall.

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About Author

The Mad Movie Man, AKA Anthony Cullen, writes articles and reviews about movies and the world of cinema. Since January 1st, 2013, he has watched and reviewed a movie every day. This is the blog dedicated to the project: www.madmovieman.com

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