Waterboy, The
Entertainment: +2 1/2
Acceptability: -1 1/2

Adam Sandler plays a socially backward and sheltered 31-year-old Louisiana boy named Bobby Bouchet, who is raised by an overprotective "mama" (Kathy Bates). With his lacking social skills, less-than-average looks and intellect, as well as a stuttering problem, Bobby has been the brunt of cruel jokes and teasing by the football team where he has served as waterboy since childhood. He is fired from that job but gets another when Coach Klein (Henry Winkler) hires him to be waterboy for his failing community college football team. In a twist of fate, Coach Klein discovers Bobby's defensive potential when he tackles one of the players for making fun of him. Against his mama's wishes, Bobby becomes a college student and joins the football team. His lifelong pent-up aggression is released as tremendous tackling power, leading the team to its first winning streak in its history. Sandler's mix of slapstick and "idiot" humor in this film can provide some good laughs, but don't be surprised if you find yourself wondering whether to feel sorry for the nave Bobby Bouchet or laugh at him.

While THE WATERBOY can certainly induce laughter, it relies on crude and potentially offensive elements for much of its comedic material. A socially backward stutterer who has not yet become a "man" because of his virginity is just an example of what the viewer is expected to find amusing. The movie also makes light of the party mentality of football fans, the alcohol abuse of cheerleaders, promiscuous and kinky sexual behavior, as well as homosexual activity. It's encouraging to see Sandler's character successfully rise above his shortcomings to earn the respect of those who used to mercilessly make fun of him. And in spite of the film's sexual references, sexual intercourse is not implied until Bobby marries his girlfriend Vicki (Fairuza Balk). However, because of some crude humor, kinky sexual innuendo, and 7 s words in the dialog, we are unable to recommend THE WATERBOY.

Preview Reviewer: Cliff McNeely
Distributor: Buena Vista Pictures, 350 S. Buena Vista St., Burbank, CA, 91521-1293

Crude Language: Many (15) times - Mild 1, Moderate 14
Obscene Language: Several (7) times (s-word 7)
Profanity: None
Violence: Few - Moderate, mostly slapstick (football tackling, man hit in head, general roughhousing between guys, knife held to man's throat)
Sexual Intercourse: None
Nudity: Once (male rear nudity); Near Nudity - few times (women in tight/revealing clothing, woman flashes breasts while viewed from back)
Homosexual Conduct: Implied sexual activity between two men
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: Several times (innuendoes about bisexual activity and being with multiple sex partners, couple passionately kiss, man grabs woman's clothed breasts, manhood associated with sexual activity, references to breasts, virginity and sexual intercourse)
Drug Abuse: Humorous remarks concerning alcohol abuse by college girls and drug abuse causing stuttering and mental slowness
Other: Film could encourage harassment of socially challenged people, encourages getting even with aggression
Running Time: 86 minutes
Intended Audience: Older Teenagers and Young Adults

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