‘Waterboy’ questionably funny

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    By BRIAN THOMPSON

    A thousand questions crossed my mind while watching “The Waterboy.”

    What ever possessed an Academy Award-wining actress as highly-respected as Kathy Bates to do a movie like this? What happened to Happy Days’ Fonzie that his career has come to this level? How do you eat a barbecued alligator? But most of all I asked myself, “Should I really be laughing my guts out over this?”

    Adam Sandler plays a 150-pound defensive tackle who has proven to be worth his weight in gold in Hollywood. “The Waterboy” has earned a stunning $79.9 million dollars in its first two weekends.

    Sandler is Bobby Boucher, a backward boy from the bayou of Louisiana who has grown up under the protective arm of his mother (Bates).

    Believing that his father died of dehydration in the Sahara desert while serving in the Peace Corps, Bobby devotes his life to making sure everyone around him is sufficiently hydrated.

    His world comes to an end, however, when he loses his job as the Louisiana University football team’s much abused waterboy, or as Bobby refers to it, water distribution engineer. Dejected, Bobby takes a job at a much smaller school which hasn’t won a game in more than four years.

    Initially, Bobby is met with as much disrespect as ever. But when neurotic Coach Klein (Henry “The Fonz” Winkler) convinces Bobby to stand up for himself against the team’s tyranny, everyone discovers his incredible talent for tackling. For the first time in his life, Bobby goes against the will of his controlling mother and helps the football team to a bid in the New Year’s Day Bourbon Bowl.

    If you’re familiar with Sandler’s sense of humor, “The Waterboy” will contain no surprises. As in his previous box office hits, “The Wedding Singer,” “Billy Madison” and “Happy Gilmore,” Sandler portrays the likeable misfit who finds himself on top of the world.

    The film is full of locker room humor, crude language and tasteless sight gags. But face it. People wouldn’t be rushing to the theater to spend their hard earned money on Sandler’s movies if the guy wasn’t outrageously funny.

    The football scenes are amusingly realistic. I admit that watching this flabby weakling lift 400-pound monsters and pile drive them into the turf brought tears of laughter to my eyes.

    After a brutal sack, Bobby looks at his opponent whimpering on the ground and says, “I love my mama. And now you know that.” I can’t honestly tell you why this is funny. It just is.

    “The Waterboy” is a film that will likely offend most people in some way or another. (Especially if you’re from Louisiana). It will probably not enlighten you, inspire you or make you a better person in any way.

    But if you choose to see it anyway, you will bust a gut.

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