REVIEW: Father of the Year

July 20, 2018

Director: Tyler Spindel
Screenplay: Brandon Cournoyer, Tyler Spindel
Starring: David Spade, Nat Faxon, Joey Bragg, Matt Shively, Bridgit Mendler
Runtime: 94 Minutes

 

★☆☆☆☆

 

Happy Madison hasn't released a film theatrically since 2015, and it's probably for the best that Father of the Year is on Netflix and not in a cinema where it might cause some real physiological damage. But at least Grown Ups Chad the novelty of the ensemble cast of once workable comedic actors (and Kevin James) to fall back on. All we have here is David Spade, and David Spade is the poor mans David Spade.

 

When two buddies' drunken debate about whose father would win in a fight is taken seriously by one of their fathers, things go bad. Jobs are lost, relationships ruined, futures destroyed, and middle-aged men are knocked out. Supposedly a coming-of-age story for the young Joey Bragg, but there's enough here for it to work that angle.

 

It's difficult to decide what's worse; the fact that every joke is aiming for the lowest joke that it can, or that it doesn't even manage to hit them and let's get the emptiness of the missed opportunity hang in the air with excruciating silence. The jokes that do get through are over explained to the point where they don't make sense.

 

Flatly directed, poor performances, unlikable characters and a script that literally does anything it can to drag itself to feature length without mustering a single laugh.

 

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