film & game reviews, the retro way.
A Netflix production, The Week Of, is a comedy about a father who wants to plan his daughter's wedding from start to finish without the help of her fiancée's wealthier father. We follow the family's pre-wedding preparations as those become increasingly chaotic.
This is a more retrained Happy Madison outing than previous Netflix collaborations but, although it's relatively low-key, there's some ambition to it as it never devolves into the kind of gross-out farce you'd expect from Adam Sandler and co. While the latter's recent films have mostly been met with cynicism or indifference by critics, with the notable exception of Uncut Gems, there's something to be said about their variety. After a cartoonish western, a goofy buddy comedy, a quirky biopic and Noah Baumbach's The Meyerowitz Stories, we get The Week Of, which is something else entirely and should appeal to older viewers.
The best way to describe it would be a not-as-sharp version of Parenthood with some Hannah And Her Sisters-era Woody Allen thrown in starring a slightly more sensible Adam Sandler in the lead with solid support from Chris Rock, Steve Buscemi and Rachel Dratch. In terms of tone, the film finds itself in a sort of comedy no man's land between a neutral family drama and National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, never picking a clear side and instead settling for something mild-mannered.
Those hoping for or expecting Grown Ups 3 will be disappointed as, though there are some shenanigans here, this at least attempts to portray a convincing family. Each day is presented one at a time in the form of mini chapters as we get closer and closer to the wedding. Chris Rock's character, surprisingly, doesn't really play a big part until later on in the story and one wonders why he is so underused in this movie despite being on the poster and having top billing along with Sandler. It's only in the film's second act that you realize just how much filler there is in The Week Of.
While each day has something significant happening in it, a lot of it isn't necessarily all that useful and, by the time the wedding finally takes place, you'll want things to wrap up quick but it sort of just keeps going until its rather abrupt last breath. Some of the jokes work, most of them fall flat and the heartfelt message, while well-meaning, doesn't really hit home because the film essentially made its point 5 minutes in and spent two hours delaying that predictable payoff.
The Week Of isn't really fascinating or memorable enough to prompt much vitriol from critics but it's certainly Adam Sandler's least involving Netflix film yet so, if you haven't enjoyed his other streaming output much, don't expect this one to win you over.
Competent yet tedious.