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Big Daddy Reviews

It's not nearly as funny as THE WATERBOY and has little of THE WEDDING SINGER's goofy charm, but die-hard Adam Sandler fans — whose numbers are legion — will find plenty to laugh at. Meet Sonny (Sandler), a 32-year-old law school grad (and a particularly crude version of Sandler's standard lovable oaf persona) on the fast track to nowhere: Rather than take a high-paying job in a high-powered New York City firm, Sonny works one night a week in a tollbooth and hangs out with the deli delivery guy (Rob Schneider). Now meet Julian (Cole and Dylan Sprouse), a cute five-year-old who appears on Sonny's doorstep with a note from his mom claiming he's the illegitimate son of Sonny's best law-school buddy Kevin (Jon Stewart), who's just left for China. No problem, thinks Sonny: A son will get his life on track and help him win back his wayward girlfriend (Kristy Swanson). And he'll be the best dad ever, giving the kid options instead of orders, letting him dress however he likes, bathe when he wants and eat what he likes: Hell, the kid can even rename himself. In almost no time, adorable Julian is transformed into a smelly, spoiled brat named Frankenstein who feasts on ketchup, wears water-wings with a cummerbund and doesn't go to school. In one sense Sandler is paired with his ideal straight man — a five-year-old — and finds the perfect love interest in baby-voiced Joey Lauren Adams, who soon replaces Swanson as the object of Sandler's affection. Too bad, then, that the slapdash script (by Sandler, Steve Franks and Sandler's longtime collaborator Tim Herlihy) isn't really worthy of the talent. It's an amusing premise that fails to live up to its own promise before sliding into a hackneyed courtroom battle and soggy father-son reconciliations.