If you go into an Adam Sandler movie with no expectations (example: pretending to have never seen a moving picture before), then generally, you allow yourself to enjoy his brand of comedy. It's not going to be an Oscar flick, but like the bingo card I created for Jack and Jill, there are certain expectations and circumstances that must take place in order for it to have a Sandler stamp of approval.
But lately, I've noticed that Sandler and other comedic counterparts have employed a cheap way to get an easy laugh: B- and C-list celebrity cameos.
Without spoiling too much about That's My Boy (except to say that Andy Sandberg shouldn't have quit his day job), there is such a celebrity cameo: Vanilla Ice.
This joke just felt really stale to me. Really? Vanilla Ice? In my head, I started calculating all of the comedies with mindless celebrity cameos.
Let's start with just Adam Sandler movies:
- Happy Gilmore - Bob Barker
- The Wedding Singer - Billy Idol
- Mr. Deeds - John McEnroe
- Jack and Jill - Al Pacino
- The Hangover - Mike Tyson
- The Hangover 2 - Mike Tyson
- Bridesmaids - Wilson Phillips
- Dodgeball - Lance Armstrong
- Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle - Neil Patrick Harris
- Harold & Kumar Escape from Guatanamo Bay - Neil Patrick Harris
- A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas - Neil Patrick Harris
- Zombieland - Bill Murray
- The Dictator - Megan Fox
- Ocean's Twelve - Bruce Willis
All right, so Neil Patrick Harris is probably to blame, as his appearance in the original Harold & Kumar film pretty much ushered in the recent resurgence of celebrity cameos.
But I think we should put a cease and desist on celebrity cameos. They're just stupid most of the time, an easy paycheck for the one-time celebrities that currently need the work.
Don't get me wrong---some are truly hilarious (Bill Murray in Zombieland still gets me every time!), but it feels like an easy laugh in some of these movies. Of course it's funny to see Vanilla Ice---only because he's a '90s relic, a trinket from the past. The novelty of seeing him is what's funny---not what the That's My Boy writers wrote.
Plus, Sandler's in been-there, done-that territory. Vanilla Ice already played himself in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze.