Reviewed by: Dave Rettig
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.”