That's My Boy (2012 film)

That's My Boy is a 2012 American satirical comedy film, directed by Sean Anders and starring Adam Sandler and Andy Samberg. The film follows Donny (Sandler), a middle-aged alcoholic who once enjoyed celebrity status for being at the center of a teacher-student sexual abuse case, as he tries to rekindle his relationship with his adult son, Todd (Samberg), born as the result of that illicit relationship, in hopes that their televised reunion will earn him enough money to avoid going to prison for tax evasion.

That's My Boy
That's My Boy poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed bySean Anders
Produced byAdam Sandler
Allen Covert
Jack Giarraputo
Heather Parry
Written byDavid Caspe
Music byRupert Gregson-Williams
CinematographyBrandon Trost
Edited byTom Costain
Distributed bySony Pictures Releasing
Release date
  • June 15, 2012 (2012-06-15) (United States)
Running time
114 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Budget$70 million[1]
Box office$57.7 million[1]

The film was released on June 15, 2012, by Columbia Pictures, and despite a sizable budget for a comedy film and a cast made of well-known actors, comedians, and celebrities, the film was both a critical and financial failure, grossing just $57 million against a $70 million budget. The film's financial health was further damaged by accusations of homophobic and misogynistic writing and criticism for its comedic treatment of child sexual abuse, rape, incest, and child neglect.[2][3][4][5] Film critic Richard Roeper gave the film an F, calling it "an ugly, tasteless, deadly and mean-spirited piece of filmmaking," and would later call it the worst film of 2012. John Hanlon of Rotten Tomatoes certified it rotten, saying it was "easily the worst movie of 2012."[6][7][8] Some consider it to be one of the worst films ever made.


In 1984, Donny's middle school teacher, Mary McGarricle, begins a sexual relationship with him. When this relationship is discovered, she is sentenced to the maximum sentence of 30 years in prison; she is later revealed to be pregnant. Custody of the unborn child is awarded to Donny's abusive father, until Donny turns 18 and can assume full custody.

In 2012, Donny is a broke, alcoholic slacker who spends his time with his friends, bartender Brie and her stripper mother, Champale. Donny is now estranged from his son, who, embarrassed by his parents' scandalous past and Donny's continued immaturity, has changed his name to Todd Peterson to avoid discovery of his parentage. Todd, a successful businessman, has recently arrived at the Cape Cod house of his boss, where he is to marry his fiancée, Jamie.

Donny learns from his lawyer, Jim Nance, that he owes $43,000 to the IRS in back-taxes and will be imprisoned for three years if he doesn't repay the money by the end of the weekend. However, Nance has him place a $20 bet on an 8000:1 runner in the following Monday's Boston Marathon. In spite of this, Donny realizes that he may need a back-up plan should the runner lose. He visits TV producer Randall Morgan, who had produced shows for Donny during his brief period of celebrity, and Morgan offers him $50,000 if he can organize a reunion with Todd and Mary McGarricle at the women's prison.

Donny arrives at Cape Cod to try to convince Todd to participate. Todd had previously told people his parents were dead, so he introduces Donny as an old friend. Donny quickly becomes well-liked by the others, at the expense of Todd's popularity. Without revealing that it is for a TV show, Donny tries to convince Todd to see his mother at the women's prison; Todd refuses. Todd fights constantly with Donny about Donny's immaturity. Donny admits he was young and didn't know how to be a father, since his own never taught him how. Todd eventually comes to imitate his father's reckless behavior, including engaging in a fight with Father McNally, cancelling the church rehearsal. Before Jamie's family could blame Todd, Donny saves him by convincing his future in-laws to have the wedding rehearsal away from churches, as Todd is still grieving the death of his father.

Donny joins Todd and his friends at Todd's bachelor party, a relaxing day at a spa. However, Donny convinces the guys to attend a strip club. Over the course of the night, Todd eventually agrees to meet his mother at the women's prison. Donny tries to stop the meeting, knowing a TV crew will be there, but Todd goes anyway. Mary, Donny, and Todd are ambushed by a TV crew, forcing a disgusted Todd to leave without signing a release form, leaving Donny without any money.

Donny overhears Jamie on the phone with Todd's boss, Steve Spirou; the conversation implies they've been sleeping together behind Todd's back. He tries to warn Todd, but Jamie comes up with a convincing cover story that fools Todd. Later, Donny discovers Jamie having sex with her brother, Chad, in a hotel room. Realizing that she could lose Todd if Donny tells him about her sexual affair with both Chad and Steve, she gives him a $50,000 check in order to keep him quiet.

Despite Jamie's hush money, Donny has to stop the wedding. With help from his best friend from his celebrity days, they make it to the wedding in time. Donny reveals he is Todd's father, rips up Jamie's check, and forces her to admit her adulterous actions behind Todd's back. Todd, disgusted, breaks up with Jamie and accepts Donny as his father, reclaiming his birth name of Han Solo Berger.

The following day, at the strip club, Han reveals he is dating Brie and offers Donny the money to pay for his unpaid taxes. Donny turns down the offer, accepting it's time for him to take responsibility for his actions. He prepares to go to prison to rekindle his relationship with Mary after his sentence is over, but the bet he placed on the marathon wins him $160,000, keeping him out of prison.



The film was originally titled I Hate You, Dad, and then changed to Donny's Boy before the producers finally settled on That's My Boy.[9][10] Filming began on May 2, 2011, and ended on July 15, 2011.

Filming took place in Massachusetts, with studio filming at Columbia Pictures in Culver City, California.[11]


Box officeEdit

The film opened on June 15, 2012, grossing $13,453,714 in its opening weekend, ranking #4 behind the second weekends of Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted and Prometheus, and the opening of Rock of Ages.

The film grossed $36,931,089 domestically and $57,719,093 worldwide, failing to recoup its $70 million budget, making it a financial failure.[1][12]

Critical receptionEdit

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 20% based on 114 reviews, with an average rating of 3.39/10. The site's critical consensus reads: "While it does represent a new foray into raunch for the normally PG-13 Sandler, That's My Boy finds him repeating himself to diminishing effect – and dragging Andy Samberg down with him."[8] On Metacritic the film has a weighted average score of 31 out of 100, based on reviews from 27 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".[13] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B–" on an A to F scale.[14]

Justin Chang of Variety called it "a shameless celebration of degenerate behavior, a work of relentless vulgarity and staggering moral idiocy."[15] Alonso Duralde gave the film a scathing review, calling it "vulgar, trite, sexist, misogynist, hacky, tacky, gross, sentimental and stupid, with occasional flourishes of racism and veiled homophobia thrown in to boot."[5] Half in the Bag called the film "pathetic" and "painful", and went on to criticize Sandler as a comic, suggesting he was unable to create humor that was not based on childish jokes.[16]

The film was criticized for making light of statutory rape, incest, and child neglect.[2][3][4]

Home mediaEdit

The film was released to DVD and Blu-ray on October 16, 2012 by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. [17]


Award Category Recipients Result
Houston Film Critics Society[18] Worst Film Won
33rd Golden Raspberry Awards[19] Worst Picture Nominated
Worst Actor Adam Sandler Won
Worst Supporting Actor Nick Swardson Nominated
Vanilla Ice (as himself)
Worst Director Sean Anders
Worst Screenplay written by David Caspe, uncredited rewrites by Adam Sandler, Tim Herlihy, Robert Smigel, David Wain, and Ken Marino Won
Worst Screen Couple Adam Sandler and either Leighton Meester, Andy Samberg, or Susan Sarandon Nominated
Worst Ensemble The entire cast
Teen Choice Awards[20] Choice Summer Movie: Comedy/Music Nominated
Choice Summer Movie Star: Male Adam Sandler
Choice Summer Movie Star: Female Leighton Meester


  1. ^ a b c d That's My Boy at Box Office Mojo
  2. ^ a b Rabin, Nathan (November 28, 2012). "Stooping To Stumble Case File #29: That's My Boy". The A.V. Club. Retrieved February 23, 2017.
  3. ^ a b Patterson, John (September 1, 2012). "Adam Sandler's That's My Boy - giving gross-out a bad name". The Guardian. Retrieved February 23, 2017.
  4. ^ a b Ablow, Keith (May 2, 2012). "There's nothing funny about rape and Adam Sandler's new movie 'That's My Boy' | Fox News". FOX News Network, LLC. Retrieved August 24, 2017.
  5. ^ a b Duralde, Alonso (June 13, 2012). "That's My Boy Review: Not Adam Sandler's Worst, But Still Terrible". Retrieved September 30, 2019.
  6. ^ "That's My Boy |". Retrieved March 20, 2019.
  7. ^ "Worst Movies of 2012 - Richard Roeper's Reviews (1/9/2013)". Retrieved November 4, 2019.
  8. ^ a b "That's My Boy (2012)". Retrieved September 30, 2019.
  9. ^ Ngo, Binh (February 3, 2012). "Adam Sandler's Upcoming Comedy 'Donny's Boy' Changed to 'That's My Boy'". Movies with Butter. Retrieved February 28, 2012.
  10. ^ Eisenberg, Eric (January 16, 2011). "Adam Sandler Comedy I Hate You, Dad Retitled Donny's Boy, First Image Arrives Online". Cinema Blend. Retrieved January 19, 2012.
  11. ^ Reporter, Mark Shanahan-Reporter and Meredith Goldstein-. "Adam Sandler and Andy Samberg's local movie gets a new name and a NSFW trailer - The Boston Globe". Retrieved April 3, 2019.
  12. ^ Rosen, Christopher (June 16, 2012). "'That's My Boy' Box Office: Adam Sandler Comedy Bombs, Tom Cruise's 'Rock Of Ages' Disappoints". Huffington Post. Retrieved June 17, 2012.
  13. ^ That's My Boy at Metacritic
  14. ^ Pamela McClintock (June 17, 2012). "Box Office Analysis: 'That's My Boy' Marks Second Disappointment in a Row for Adam Sandler". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 11, 2017.
  15. ^ Chang, Justin (June 14, 2012). "Review: That's My Boy". Variety. Retrieved February 23, 2017.
  16. ^ Half in the Bag: ABRAHAM LINCOLN: VAMPIRE HUNTER and THAT'S MY BOY (July 28, 2012). Retrieved on August 26, 2012.
  17. ^ "That's My Boy: Releases". AllMovie. Retrieved February 20, 2017.
  18. ^ "2012 Houston Film Critics Nominees - Winners". Archived from the original on March 21, 2015. Retrieved January 10, 2013.
  19. ^ "Dawn Breaks for TWILIGHT, Sandler and Rihanna at 33rd RAZZIE® AWARDS". Archived from the original on February 27, 2013. Retrieved February 24, 2013.
  20. ^ "Breaking Dawn leads the way at Teen Choice Awards nominations". Winnipeg Free Press. June 15, 2012. Retrieved June 16, 2012.

External linksEdit