Prospective parents everywhere, meet the world's least likely paternal role model: Adam Sandler! In Big Daddy, Sandler plays 30-year-old bachelor Sonny Koufax, a carefree slob who has never much taken to adult responsibilities; he works… More Prospective parents everywhere, meet the world's least likely paternal role model: Adam Sandler! In Big Daddy, Sandler plays 30-year-old bachelor Sonny Koufax, a carefree slob who has never much taken to adult responsibilities; he works one day a week as a tollbooth collector, and spends the remainder of his time living off of a $200,000 reward he collected from an auto accident. All told, the life suits him just fine. However, as his old buddies start getting married and drifting away, Sonny realizes that if he doesn't do something soon, he could end up all alone for the rest of his life. When his most recent girlfriend, Vanessa (Kristy Swanson), indicates that she needs some time off because she's sick of being with a man who can't act like a grown-up, he decides that it's time to take drastic action to win her back. Conveniently enough, a little boy named Julian (Cole Sprouse and Dylan Sprouse) turns up on his doorstep, claiming that he's the biological son of Sonny's roommate and friend from law school, Kevin (Jon Stewart). The kid tells Sonny that he's from Buffalo, New York; Kevin has never been to Buffalo, New York, but no matter - Sonny foresees, in Julian, an opportunity to convince Vanessa that he can face adult responsibilities. He thus takes charge of the little boy over a long Columbus Day weekend, pretending to be Kevin. However, the plan doesn't work as expected, and the authorities hone in on a discovery of Sonny's real identity. Meanwhile, Sonny finds himself genuinely drawn to the tyke. Also supporting Sandler in Big Daddy are Joey Lauren Adams, Josh Mostel and Rob Schneider. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi
Consensus: Adam Sandler acquits himself admirably, but his charm isn't enough to make up for Big Daddy's jarring shifts between crude humor and mawkish sentimentality.