Anthony's Film Review

The Waterboy (1998)

The movie's premise isn't bad, but it could have done at least a little better...

The Waterboy is your typical Adam Sandler comedy, a screwball movie that is intended for people who are into low-brow humor. Of course, there's nothing wrong with low-brow humor, because I can sometimes be amused by it, too. But the problem I had with The Waterboy wasn't so much the type of jokes it goes for. Rather, it was the execution and the lack of delightful surprise. What do I mean by this? Well, basically, if you want a movie where something creatively delightful comes your way, you might be disappointed.

The movie is your typical unmasculine-guy-becomes-popular premise. Adam Sandler plays Bobby, who works as the waterboy for a football team. It's too bad he's not on the team itself, because the players seem to pick on him a lot. But what the players don't realize is that each taunt makes Bobby very angry. Eventually, his rage reaches a boiling point, forcing him to charge his tormenter and tackle him to the ground. And I will tell you this right now. The movie's comedy seems to rely entirely on this one joke alone.

Suddenly, Bobby becomes a cool guy, because the team now realizes his potential. His hard tackling ability can serve well on the football field. But joining the team isn't the only thing that makes him a man. He also attracts a lovely young woman. Vicki, played by Fairuza Balk, admires Bobby's performance on the field. This woman isn't some geeky or ugly-looking person. This is actually a hot babe whom the jocks would expect to score with easily.

Now, I already mentioned that there's not much variety in humor because Bobby's tackling is the only joke in this comedy. But there's something else I noticed. The romance between Bobby and Vicki seemed unnatural. There's nothing wrong with opposites attracting or unconventional romances. But I couldn't help but wonder what Vicki sees in Bobby. It's one thing if Bobby offers something no other guy does, but Bobby very much acts like a baby. In fact, one scene involves Vicki making this exact complaint. Once I saw that, I could no longer find their relationship believable.

The last thing I'll say is this. You can pretty much predict the rest of the movie. Bobby will have success with both football and his girlfriend. There's nothing new about it. Combine that with the unnatural way things occur and you have a story that may not be terrible but certainly feels less than inspired. This is the kind of movie that will make you less interested in Adam Sandler's films. If you are a fan of his work, you may be better off finding something else in his filmography worth seeing.

Anthony's Rating:

For more information about The Waterboy, visit the Internet Movie Database.


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