Adam Sandler is one of the most infuriating actors and comedians out there in the world. The SNL-alum has starred in many painfully unfunny and lazy comedy films. He struck a deal with Netflix a few years ago to make original films. His newest offerings have bypassed theaters and gone straight to the streaming service. All of those films have received mixed to extremely negative reviews. However, Sandler can be a true talent and actor when he wants to be. His performance in Paul Thomas Anderson’s 2002 romantic comedy Punch-Drunk Love is transcendent. He should have gotten an Oscar nomination for Best Actor. He also showed his acting chops in Judd Apatow’s Funny People and, most recently, in Noah Baumbach’s Netflix film The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected).
Two bits of recent news have provided hope for those of us who want to like Sandler, even when he makes it hard. First, Josh and Benny Safdie (Heaven Knows What; Good Time) have cast him in their next film, Uncut Gems, about criminal exploits in the diamond trade in New York City. He is replacing Jonah Hill. The film is currently in pre-production. To add to that, Sandler has reteamed with his Punch-Drunk Love director Paul Thomas Anderson (Boogie Nights; There Will Be Blood; Phantom Thread) for a Netflix comedy special. Anderson, my favorite director under 50 and one of my five favorite living directors, has filmed a portion of Sandler’s comedy special which he performed earlier this week at the El Rey Theater in Los Angeles. Sandler started as a stand-up comedian. Neither the film nor the Netflix special have a release date yet. Let’s all applaud Sandler for working with interesting directors and proving his talent.