Big Daddy is a 1999 comedy starring Adam Sandler, Joey Lauren Adams, Jon Stewart, Rob Schneider, and Leslie Mann. The producers are Sid Ganis and Jack Giarraputo. It is directed by Dennis Dugan.
The story focuses on an immature and aimless bachelor in New York City named Sonny Koufax. One day after his roommate Kevin Gerrity goes on a business trip to China, a kid shows up on their doorstep claiming to be Kevin’s. After having some fun with the kid, whose name is Julian, Sonny decides to adopt him by posing as Kevin Gerrity to social services. His plan is to win his girlfriend Vanessa back by proving he can be responsible. But Vanessa dumps him for Sid, an older man who is more goal-oriented. Now Sonny returns to social services again posing as his roommate to try and return Julian. But as Sonny is talking to the social worker, Arthur Brooks, Julian runs over and proudly shows him that he tied his shoes. Sonny, impressed by Julian, decides to temporarily keep him until a foster family can be found. Soon Brooks finds a family, but Sonny doesn’t want to let Julian go. Later on, Arthur Brooks shows up at Sonny’s apartment upon finding out that he is not Kevin Gerrity. He threatens to have Sonny arrested unless he turns over Julian. Reluctantly, he agrees. He immediately files for custody based on the best interests of the child.
One very underrated part of the film is the supporting role the characters play. There is Kevin Gerrity, Sonny’s roommate, who is a lawyer and Julian’s biological father. Corinne Maloney is Kevin’s girlfriend and shows a strong dislike towards Sonny’s behavior, mainly every time he brings up that she used to work at Hooter’s. Tommy and Phil are also friends of Sonny and are gay lovers. Layla Maloney is Corinne’s sister and later Sonny’s girlfriend. She realizes that he is a sweet guy despite all of his antics. Finally, there’s Nazo, a foreign delivery man and one of his best friends.
A quite remarkable feature of the film is Sonny’s character transformation. In the beginning, he is a lazy and irresponsible man who works one day a week at a toll booth in order to support himself. As his relationship with Julian grows, he realizes that he really cares about the kid and is willing to change to be a better father-figure to him. In the end, he finds out that he has actually found a real purpose in life and can sacrifice his carefree existence to see it through. It is really quite inspiring.
To wrap, Big Daddy is not your typical Adam Sandler flick. It has interesting supporting characters and a hint of inspiration to go along with Sandler’s unique style of comedy.