Adam Sandler is a good role model. Yeah, I said it. Not necessarily for children, although given Sandler’s 10 Kids Choice Awards, your kids probably already look up to him. The people who should be taking some life lessons from ole Happy Gilmore are parents. Here’s why:
- Sandler’s more recent movies deliver positive messages to parents. In Blended, Sandler and Drew Barrymore play loving parents who don’t agree on much except that parents need to show up and be committed to their kids – that same message is delivered in a cruder way with last year’s That’s My Boy. Click, Jack and Jill and Bedtime Stories are also about the importance of spending time with family.
- Sandler doesn’t take his work home, he takes his home to work. Sandler’s devotion to wife Jackie and daughters Sadie (age eight) and Sunny (age five) is all over his movies: their cameos are as reliable as spotting Stan Lee in a Marvel film. In Jack and Jill, Sandler even works at the advertising firm Sunny and Sadelstein. In Blended, Sandler and his girls are absolutely adorable singing over the credits.
- Sandler achieves success through friendship and teamwork. First, he casts his comedian friends in his films, which keeps them working. Above and beyond, he makes their movies and therefore, makes them movie stars. His production company Happy Madison is responsible for The House Bunny (Anna Faris), Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star (Nick Swardson), and most of Kevin James’ movies.
- Sandler embodies family values. Adam and Jackie are about to celebrate their 14th wedding anniversary. And while Kristen Bell educated us that we’re now not supposed to look at pictures of celebrities’ kids, an Internet search reveals photo after photo of the Sandlers as hands-on parents.
- Sandler is professional. Sure, his persona is impatient, crude man-baby. But in real life, Sandler is a total pro. Here’s what I’ve witnessed: My 13-year-old daughter Riley and I are regulars on the red carpet as reporters for movie premieres. Usually, the more famous the celebrity, the more likely they’ll show up moments before the movie starts – meaning they’ll breeze past a lot of online reporters. At his movie premieres, Sandler shows up early, talks to every reporter, and gives them his time and undivided attention until they’ve asked all their questions. It makes sense – he’s the producer and star – why wouldn’t he? But, in five years of movie premieres, he is the only A-list talent I've seen who makes sure he’s available to all the press who showed up to cover his film.
Here are three movies to see with your kids this weekend:
Blended. My daughter and I have already seen Blended twice and we laughed as often and as loud both times. The main story line is for parents, but there’s plenty of humor for kids in how devoted single parents Sandler and Barrymore are stumbling through dealing with the issues of their children of the opposite gender. Sandler’s humor always walks the line of inappropriateness, but in this case, it’s likely nothing your sixth grader isn’t already aware of.
Million Dollar Arm. A heartwarming true story sharing lessons on what’s important in life and how to succeed by working hard, this is the must-see film of the year for families.
X-Men: Days of Future Past. The X-Men are the most diverse group of superheroes and supervillains out there, but they're also a violent bunch. It's a fun movie but a better choice for families with teens.
To see what kids think about these movies, go to KidsPickFlicks.com, where all kids are movie critics.