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Movie Review

The Waterboy

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for language and some crude sexual humor

Reviewed by: Dave Rettig
CONTRIBUTOR

Very Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Teens Adults
Genre:
Comedy
Length:
89 min.
Year of Release:
1998

Starring: Adam Sandler, Kathy Bates, Henry Winkler, Fairuza Balk | Director: Frank Coraci

Bobby Boucher (Adam Sandler) is a backwoods, backwards man with a devotion to his chosen profession, a waterboy for a college football team. Thirty year old Bobby lives with his mother (Kathy Bates) in a trailer in the swamp lands of Louisiana, avoids women (because mamma says women are “the devil”), and drives a riding lawnmower to the football field each day. Bobby Boucher is the target of malicious mischief from every angle. When Bobby is fired from his beloved waterboy position, his years of pent up anger transform him into a devastating linebacker and the only hope for a failing college football team.

A very typical “underdog makes good” story with humor that is primarily driven by the social inadequacies of Bobby Boucher, his coach (Henry Winkler), and the members of his team. “The Waterboy” has little to offer in the area of originality. While it may be an amusing film, there is no intellectual depth, but Adam Sandler was surprisingly modest (in comparison to “Happy Gilmore”, “Billy Madison”, or “Bulletproof”). Some parts were funny; however, this film did not have the laugh out loud response from the audience as his other films. “The Waterboy” is an above average funny film but not Sandler’s best work.

“The Waterboy” has a PG-13 rating for language and crude sexual humor. The film also contains brief nudity and the nudity is a close up, occupying the whole screen. The idea behind the movie is also disturbing: hate and revenge is good and powerful. People are told to visualize something hated and that will give them strength. This is definitely a message from (as mamma would say) “the devil” for our Lord says “vengeance is mine” (Romans 12:19) and “love your enemy” (Matthew 5:44, Luke 6:27, 35). Additionally, some new age elements were referenced. Bobby’s girlfriend is an astrologer. When momma also (correctly, see Deuteronomy 18:10-12) attributes this to “the devil,” it is a comedic scene. Christians should stand against these messages.

Although Adam Sandlers' films consistently make me laugh, I cannot recommend “The Waterboy”. There is simply too much negative content to give a positive recommendation. Pass on “The Waterboy”. There are much cleaner movies about triumph over adversity, such as “Rudy,” “Chariots of Fire” and “Babe.”

Viewer Comments
I have to admit “The Waterboy” was funny, but I can’t recommend it because it may offend people at younger ages… There is not too much cussing besides a few people in the movie who cuss, not to mention one of them yells out the F-word. There is also a part where a girl takes off her shirt but it does not show any nudity.
—Aaron Arneson, age 14
My friend and I decided to go to the Waterboy because we heard that it was extremely funny. He and I agreed that it was quite stupid and the humor in it my 1 year old sister could have thought up better. If you like stupid corny humor than this is a great movie but it still didn’t amuse me much. The only thing that really kept me in the theater was the awesome tackles that he made on some of the football players. If you go to this movie don’t except good humor, much of it is crude and just plain stupid.
—Chris, age 14
I thought this movie was absolutely hilarious. I know I’m a teenager, but I think that football fans, and college students will find this humorous as well. I admit there was some very brief language… mainly A$$ but that was not that much… as for the nude scenes… well seeing butt cheeks is not that sexually oriented, or nudely disgusting… however you want to put it. They show baby’s butts on TV for diaper commercials, the only difference is that the baby’s have no idea what they are doing… just think when they get older how embarrassed they will be to have themselves stretched across a cloud butt-naked?!? I would hate that. and I’m sure everyone has seen a butt, also to make it better, it wasn’t out of perverted manor, it was to be humourous, which me and the whole audience found funny. I thought this movie was worth it to spend my money on and I am willing to watch it again! I recommend this movie, you may have heard it was a dumb plot “dumb guy becomes hero type thing”… ya sure it’s been done a million times,… but this is a really funny movie. go see it if your looking for some laughs
—Jillian Smith, age 15
I laughed a lot at this film. If you like Adam Sandler, you’ll probably enjoy it, if not don’t waste your time. I have to agree with the reviewer that the premise of hatred giving one strength is unbiblical. I doubt I wouldn’t recommend it for any but adults.
—Kevin Burk, age 27
I found The Waterboy OK I learned a lot about water. The Waterboy had the same devotion to water that Forest Gump’s friend had to shrimp. The language was bad at times, but a harmless movie for the most part. (stereotypes aside)
—Jerome Bush, age 46
I went to the Waterboy expecting it to be an extremely poor movie after I read Roger Ebert’s review in the local newspaper. It took a friend to drag me to this one star movie. BUT, after only five minutes into the movie I was laughing my socks off. Adam Sandler is a comic genius in this movie. Most people over 30 don’t seem to appreciate his “brain damaged southerner” way of speaking, but a lot of people (including me) got a real kick out of his acting. The plot was surprising decent, for a crazed mad football player as a premise. This is definitely a comedy for those that enjoy the comic relief found in Adam Sandler (As seen in “Billy Madison” and that one golf movie).
—Brian Pedigo, age 19
I took my almost 13 year old son and a friend to see this movie (they needed a driver) and sat through it with 400 teenagers. They loved it. I hated it. It was poorly written, poorly edited, and poorly acted. Cathy Bates must have needed the money really badly to be in this movie. From what I understand, the movie made $39 million the first weekend and cost significantly less to make. Is it any wonder why Hollywood keeps making poor quality films like this. The locker room language was awful and portraying drunken cheerleaders as funny was in poor taste. I could have done without having to see Henry Winkler’s backside (or whoever it was) as well. It was painful to listen to and watch Adam Sandler trying to portray a bumpkin. I tried to muster some sympathy for him, but I just couldn't. This movie has made my list of top ten worst movies I have ever seen. It really has no value from a Christian perspective.
—Jim, age 38
Hilarious hilarious movie! I enjoyed it very much and will go see it again. I didn’t notice the profanity all that much… I went to laugh and not to search for sin. They could have eased up on the sexual references but once again, the movie was quite enjoyable for me. The one thing that struck me and my fiancee was Mama Boucher’s insistence of calling EVERYTHING “of the devil.” She, myself, and many other Christians we know were raised like that only to find out that like Bobby, we were being sheltered from the world out of fear. And parents aren’t supposed to do that to their children. So in spite of all the negative stuff, God was able to minister to us and bring her deliverance from this movie. So, once again, I loved it!
—Chris Utley, age 26
I turned my head when I heard the Fonz unzip his pants, so I didn’t see the nudity. The sex in the film was very mild as abstinence was displayed in the title character. It was extremely funny! Especially the hillbilly who kept mumbling. As unrealistic as the formulaic story was, I was surprised at how athletic Sandler is. I also found Rob Schneider’s character to be hilarious. If they had cut back on the profanity (which is still common on a football team), I’d be more enthusiastic.
—Chris, age 17
The language in this movie was totally unnecessary. Why film producers think they have to use foul language in a movie of this nature in order to make it sell tickets is beyond me. Disney and Touchstone should be ashamed of themselves for poking such fun at the mentally handicapped.
—Ed Hudson, age 43
I went to this movie expecting to laugh quite a bit. I wasn’t disappointed. …This movie was very, very funny. It did contain some foul language and a couple of scenes of sexual themes. Definitely not a kids movie. Some could find the language offensive. But remember, this is a college setting, so take that into consideration. I felt that the movie was made well, except for the language and sexual themes, and I enjoyed it watching with some friends who felt the same way.
—Shane Murray, age 28