It’s been a while since Adam Sandler has been the toast of anything.
The actor-comedian, who grew up in Manchester, N.H., first broke big in the ’90s on “Saturday Night Live,” when “The Hanukhah Song” — his irreverent paean to the Jewish holiday — made him a star.
He went on to star in and produce a mindboggling slate of comedies, many of which were sophomoric at best, embarrassing at worst. Still, for years, Sandler ruled the box office, and, in films like “The Wedding Singer” and certainly Paul Thomas Anderson’s 2002 “Punch Drunk Love,” he revealed a depth and sensitivity previously obscured by fart jokes.
Now, all these years later, Sandler’s latest film — which screened at the Cannes Film Festival this weekend — has put him back in the spotlight, and for all the right reasons. Directed and written by Noah Baumbach, “The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)” stars Sandler, as well as Ben Stiller, Dustin Hoffman, Emma Thompson, Rebecca Miller, and Adam Driver.
A tale of a dysfunctional family (is there any other kind, really?), the film has gotten raves. Deadline’s Pete Hammond on Sunday speculated whether Sandler might be in the running for best actor this year at Cannes. And Vanity Fair headlined its take: “Adam Sandler will make you forget he’s Adam Sandler in ‘The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)’.”
Yeah, that last one’s a bit of a back-handed compliment. But for Sandler, to be on the French Riviera, the toast of one of the world’s top film festivals — in 2017 — has got to be sweet.
Hayley Kaufman can be reached at email@example.com.