It's been a while since Adam Sandler did one of his full-blown caricatures. Even Jack And Jill divided his performances between a caricature and a straight role - and, along with Jack And Jill, That's My Boy completely undoes the half-hearted tastefulness of his 00s output, especially the middle-aged soul-searching of films like Spanglish, Click and Grown-Ups. Essentially, it's a worlds-colliding narrative - Sandler is Donny, an aging slacker who crashes his son Todd's exclusive Cape Cod wedding. This slacker/corporate binary is a bit of a staple of the indie/Frat Pack cusp, and what eviscerates it in That's My Boy is that the entire Cape Cod population finds Donny - just delightful, a real pleasure to be around. While it might be a bit of a stretch to call it carnivalesque, there's something ingeniously crazy in this inversion, in the way Donny comes to stand as an arbiter of good taste and breeding, even or especially when he seems to be most violently rupturing it. It gives the film the feel of a surreal, self-annihilating party, frequented by minor Sandler regulars and other washed-up 90s Z-grade actors - and it looks like it would have been as much fun to film as to watch, even for the hordes of extras, which is effectively the role the audience is invited to assume. In earlier Sandler films there was always a tension between Sandler's bullying and sentimental sides - you sense that he'd pick on any kid below a certain age, and love any adult above a certain age. Here, those two sides are brought together, and tempered more than ever before, largely because Donny fathered Todd at the age of thirteen, meaning that Todd's both too close and too far from Donny's peer group for bullying to make sense. It's like Sandler's finally hit a bullying blindspot, revealing something inherently lovely and lovable about him which was only ever hinted at in his previous films. In keeping with this, and despite the fact that Todd was "the product of an inappropriate student-teacher relationship", the violently sensationalist edge of Sandler's earlier films is also tempered. Even when the palette extends from pedophilia to incest, there's more a sense of oblivion than transgression, the anachronism of somebody joking good-naturedly about something that they're assuming everybody else is still OK with. This may explain the slightly senile edge to Sandler's personality - and the infantile voice of Happy Gilmore and Billy Madison, which this film recalls more than any Sandler film since, has somehow come full circle, gone from embodying the crotchety old side of small children to the lovable youthfulness of old people. So it fulfills Sandler's career-long drive towards quaintness - he's finally become one of the old biddies, the crazy Jewish bobeshis who guide and love his films, losing his hair but still riding a wave of hair metal bonhomie.