Adam Sandler earns raves at Cannes Film Fest (yes, really)

While both were warmly received here at the festival, both titles entered Cannes amid great controversy as they will receive a massive debut on the Netflix service with only a 10 screen week's run in the states.

★★★★☆ The broad, bawdy comedy of Adam Sandler is not traditional Palme d'Or material, and the announcement that the star of Jack and Jill and Big Daddy was to appear in The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) met with some snooty Gallic shrugging in Cannes.

When the film's cast, which also includes Emma Thompson, assembled for a press conference, the moderator noted this was the second film that Sandler and Stiller have made together after that classic 1996 comedy.

A few minutes later, Stiller joked that he became interested in the project upon learning that "Dustin Hoffman was auditioning". Not to mention his half-brother's (Stiller) successes as a businessman. "Ben has a more solid body than I was expecting".

"It's different for a comedian when you get an offer like this", he later said. "The veteran comedy star hasn't delivered a performance of this caliber since Judd Apatow's Funny People nearly eight years ago", Ellwood said. "They love cinema", he said. "Dustin came to my wedding".

For Hoffman, however, the film was a harder sell. "I didn't want to play an old man".

Hoffman eventually reversed course after having long conversations with Baumbach about their fathers.

Grace Van Patten Ben Stiller Adam Sandler & Elizabeth Marvel
Grace Van Patten Ben Stiller Adam Sandler & Elizabeth Marvel

Hoffman said Baumbach insisted the cast perform his script "word-for-word, whether we like it or not".

But a mock grumpy Hoffman retorted: "I resent people saying they grew up with my work".

Growing more serious, Hoffman said that Baumbach is so talented that he would work with him for free.

Sandler, in particular, is being praised by almost every critic who saw the film. That the USA streaming giant's movie "Okja" was greeted both by booing and cheering at its premiere Friday showed how divided film-makers are about the new cash-rich kid on the Hollywood block. "I had one of the biggest bruises in my life on my arm".

"There was no rehearsal at all", Stiller continued of the low-budget production. "Netflix acquired the movie in post and they've been hugely supportive and I feel very appreciative to them".

'Perhaps the [biggest surprise is] a sentence I thought I might never write: Is Adam Sandler a contender for Best Actor in Cannes?' wrote Deadline after watching the film, while Variety's headline threw major shade at Sandler while also praising him: 'Adam Sandler Will Make You Forget He's Adam Sandler in The Meyerowitz Stories'.

"He said that about "Happy Gilmore" too", quipped Stiller, who co-starring in that '90s comedic blockbuster with Sandler.

  • Salvatore Jensen