We’re about a half hour into “The Week Of” when longtime pals Adam Sandler and Chris Rock finally share an onscreen moment together.
Sandler’s Kenny offers Rock’s Kirby a giant cup of Starbucks coffee.
“No, thanks,” says Kirby. “I might need to stay tired.”
It’s as if Rock is warning us about the performance he’s giving, and the movie we’re enduring. “The Week Of” is an amiable but uninspired, meandering and utterly unnecessary comedy set during the week leading up to a wedding.
If you’ve seen “Father of the Bride,” “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” “Muriel’s Wedding,” “Wedding Crashers,” “Bridesmaids,” “The In-Laws,” “My Best Friend’s Wedding,” “Monsoon Wedding,’ “Four Weddings and a Funeral” and yes, Sandler’s “The Wedding Singer,” you must know this:
All of those movies are much better than “The Week Of.”
Following “The Ridiculous 6,” “The Do-Over” and “Sandy Wexler,” this is yet another underwhelming Happy Madison production debuting on Netflix. (Sandler’s original deal to do four movies for Netflix has been doubled. You’ve been served notice.)
At this stage of Sandler’s wheels-spinning career, we can’t really say his latest movie is a disappointment — but given “The Week Of” was directed and co-written by the often-hilarious Robert Smigel, and the cast includes not only Rock but also Rachel Dratch and Steve Buscemi, there was cause for at least a speck of cautious optimism.
That speck is crushed by the 15-minute mark.
Sandler’s Kenny is a working-class husband and father with a Long Island house bursting at the seams as family members swoop in for the marriage of Kenny’s oldest daughter Sarah (Allison Strong) to a wonderful young man named Tyler (Roland Buck III). Even as Kenny wrestles with myriad problems involving the cut-rate motel where everyone is staying and tries to figure out how he’s going to pay for everything, he steadfastly refuses to accept any financial help from Tyler’s father Kirby (Rock), an enormously successful surgeon based in L.A.
“The Week Of” is filled with running jokes that are reduced to a slow, predictable jog by the end of the week. A sample platter:
• Kenny’s Uncle Seymour (Jim Barone) has lost both legs to diabetes. We get multiple scenes of Kenny trying to fold Uncle Seymour’s wheelchair, numerous gags about Kenny having to take Uncle Seymour to the bathroom and some wacky antics involving a misunderstanding that leads everyone in town to believe Uncle Seymour lost his legs in World War II.
• The teenage Noah (Noah Robbins) has been released from rehab for the weekend so he can attend the wedding. His parents try to remove all possible “triggers” that could set Noah off: “None of the guests should drink in front of him. … No knives … no cords. … Remove any medication…triggers. … No music.” But it’s a WEDDING. How can everyone be expected to honor these restrictions! Hahaha.
• Sarah’s best friend from childhood (Kate Hartman) wants to include cheesy elements such as the bridesmaids and groomsmen doing a choreographed number to “Don’t Stop Believin.’ ” Sarah’s “cool” friends from dental school think this is hilarious.
The jokes in “The Week Of” are big and obvious and sometimes mildly tasteless. Kenny sees two black men walking past his house and assumes they’re relatives of the groom — so he invites them in for breakfast. Kenny’s wife puts together gift bags for the groom’s family that include local products such as Snapple.
If there’s a chandelier, you know it’s going to crash. If there’s a drip coming from the ceiling, you know it’s going to get worse. If there’s a chance things can go terribly, terribly wrong at the reception — well, you know.
Sandler gives a relatively restrained performance as the well-meaning dad. Rock seems barely invested in paying attention to the other actors, and reads his lines as if he’s hoping there won’t be another take and he won’t have to go through this again.
Even with helpful title cards telling us it’s “MONDAY,” “TUESDAY,” etc., etc., this is a week that feels 10 days long.
Netflix presents a film directed by Robert Smigel and written by Smigel and Adam Sandler. No MPAA rating. Running time: 116 minutes. Now showing on Netflix.