In those two movies, Sandler plays the eponymous title characters, to hilarious effect. But if anyone else played the leads in such fare, it would be colossally dumb. Want proof? Watch Deuce Bigalow, which features Sandler buddy Rob Schneider in the lead role of a fish-tank cleaner who takes to "man-whoring" in an effort to pay for damage he has caused to a menacing Arabian call boy's beachfront condominium.
Schneider is very good as Sandler's intellectually challenged sidekick in Big Daddy and 50 First Dates. But he lacks Sandler's cloying self-awareness and infantile charm -- two vital prerequisites for pulling off the lead in an Adam Sandler film.
Sandler's trick has always been to shout his way out of the sophomoric cages that are his scripts. The screenplay, Sandler realizes, is only a springboard for spontaneous, whip-smart physical humor and over-the-top vocal inflections. In order for Deuce to have a chance of succeeding, Schneider absolutely must pick up on this tic. But because he doesn't -- or perhaps can't -- the result is a very stupid movie that, in spite of itself, did very well at the box office. Not surprisingly, the world now awaits the soon-to-be released sequel, Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo. Phyllis shits you not.
Each week the author treks to the Schlafly branch of the St. Louis Public Library, where a staff member blindfolds him and escorts him to the movie shelves. After selecting a film at random, Seely checks it out and reviews it.