Adam Sandler. A story of continuous disappointment. The celebrity’s output has a marked shift from his early days to recent years. Pixels. The Ridiculous 6. Even The Cobbler’s different approach to the Sandler brand was a misfire.
Now that Sandler is working with Netflix, it seems like the bar has been lowered significantly.
The eponymous Sandy Wexler (Sandler), played with one of Sandler’s three voices, is a notorious Hollywood manager. Notorious for being eccentric and unsuccessful. Wexler is a fake-laughing, gross-eating, compulsively-lying loser. When he finds real talent in Courtney Clarke (Jennifer Hudson), the possibility of success, and perhaps other things, pique Wexler’s interest.
Sandy Wexler is an over-long two hours and 10 minutes. Even for a laugh-a-minute comedy, this is too long. But when we are looking at laugh-an-hour, the film can’t go fast enough.
If pacing wasn’t bad enough, every scene in the film progresses for minutes beyond the natural ending point. Bits are saturated to the point of mind-numbing insanity. Unfunny gags repeat themselves twice or thrice over.
At least Sandler shows some sense of energy. It’s hard to tell what has changed between this and a film like The Ridiculous 6, in which Sandler appears half-asleep in every shot, but here there is actually a performance.
The only problem with this is that the character of Wexler is overloaded with quirks. A character of this sort—an industry-type who cares about his clients but doesn’t know the first thing about traversing the business—could provide a good premise for a film. But the only humanity in Wexler is his constant humiliation. A humiliation that is no funnier than Wexler’s forced chuckle.
Other outlets for comedy are tired period-specific jokes and trying situational humor. Given that the story is the age-old budding star narrative, the tired attempts at humor only add to the lack of originality.
Sandy Wexler is noticeably lacking. Without narrative cohesion and pacing, the film trickles by with only a handful of laughs to be had. There is a kernel of heart to the film, but it is not appropriately pursued in earnest until it is too late. As a result, everything comes across as conventional and haphazard.
Sandy Wexler: D+
As always, thanks for reading!
Like CineFiles on Facebook for updates on new articles and reviews.