Big Daddy (1999 film)

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Big Daddy
Big Daddy film.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Dennis Dugan
Produced by Allen Covert
Jack Giarraputo
Screenplay by Steve Franks
Tim Herlihy
Adam Sandler
Story by Steve Franks
Music by Teddy Castellucci
Cinematography Theo van de Sande
Edited by Jeff Gourson
Out of the Blue... Entertainment
Jack Giarraputo Productions
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release date
June 25, 1999 (1999-06-25)
Running time
93 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $34.2 million[1]
Box office $234.8 million[1]

Big Daddy is a 1999 American comedy film directed by Dennis Dugan and starring Adam Sandler, Joey Lauren Adams, and the Sprouse twins. The film was produced by Robert Simonds and released on June 25, 1999, by Columbia Pictures, where it opened #1 at the box office with a $41,536,370 first weekend[1].[2] It was Sandler's last film before starting his production company, Happy Madison Productions, his first film distributed by Columbia Pictures, and his highest-grossing film domestically until Hotel Transylvania 2 (2015).[3]


Immature and lazy 32-year-old bachelor Sonny Koufax lives in New York City, and refuses to take on adult responsibility. Despite having a law degree, he refuses to take the bar exam, works one day a week as a toll booth attendant and lives off a large compensation payout from a minor accident. His girlfriend, Vanessa, threatens to break up with him unless he grows up. His roommate, Kevin Gerrity, proposes to his podiatrist girlfriend Corinne Maloney before he leaves for China to work at his law firm, and she accepts. Sonny constantly teases Corinne, especially about her former job at Hooters.

The next day, Sonny wakes up to find five-year-old Julian McGrath abandoned at their apartment. A written explanation says that Julian's mother is no longer able to care for him and that Kevin is his biological father. Sonny assures Kevin that he will look after Julian until Kevin returns from China. In order to win Vanessa back, Sonny introduces her to Julian. However, he discovers that she is now dating Sid, an elderly man who is more motivated and intelligent and has a "five-year plan."

Posing as Kevin, Sonny takes Julian to his social worker Arthur Brooks, telling him that Julian should return to his mother. However, Brooks informs Sonny that Julian's mother died of cancer. Sonny then decides to raise Julian his own way. As such, the boy renames himself "Frankenstein" and also helps Sonny find a new girlfriend in Corinne's lawyer sister Layla. Brooks finds a foster home for Julian and leaves messages for Sonny, but is suspicious when Sonny does not answer. At a meeting at Julian's school, the teacher is shocked by the terrible habits Sonny has allowed Julian to develop, causing Sonny to rethink his parenting methods. He turns himself and Julian around, but then Brooks arrives to find out Sonny impersonated Kevin and Julian is taken away.

In court, numerous people including Corinne testify on Sonny's behalf and tell the judge he is a suitable father. Julian also testifies and provides information regarding his heritage. As a final straw, Sonny calls himself to the stand and asks his Florida lawyer father Lenny, who is present, to interrogate him. Despite Lenny's fervent belief that Sonny is not father material, Sonny convinces Lenny that he will try his best at being a father. Impressed by Sonny's sincerity, Lenny vouches for him. Nonetheless, the unconvinced judge orders Sonny's arrest. However, Kevin, having pieced the necessary information together, confesses to being Julian's biological father and insists they drop the charges. Sonny remains friends with Julian and hands him off to Kevin, watching them bond.

One year later, Sonny has turned his life around: he is now a successful lawyer, is married to Layla, and they have a child of their own. At Sonny's surprise birthday party at a Hooters restaurant attended by Kevin, Corinne, Julian and others; Sonny sees Vanessa working as a waitress, with Sid working as a cook, revealing his "five-year-plan" has gone awry. Everyone's celebrates Sonny's birthday.



Critical response[edit]

Big Daddy received generally mixed reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes the film had an 40% rating by the critics.[4] The Rotten Tomatoes consensus says "Adam Sandler acquits himself admirably, but his charm isn't enough to make up for Big Daddy's jarring shifts between crude humor and mawkish sentimentality." The film received a score of 41% on Metacritic.[2]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Result
2000 Blockbuster Entertainment Awards Favorite Actor - Comedy: Adam Sandler Won
2000 Blockbuster Entertainment Awards Favorite Supporting Actor - Comedy: Cole Sprouse & Dylan Sprouse Nominated
2000 Blockbuster Entertainment Awards Favorite Supporting Actress - Comedy: Joey Lauren Adams Nominated
2000 BMI Film & TV Awards Teddy Castellucci Won
2000 GLAAD Media Awards Outstanding Film Nominated
2000 Golden Raspberry Awards Worst Actor: Adam Sandler Won
2000 Golden Raspberry Awards Worst Screenplay: Steve Franks, Tim Herlihy & Adam Sandler Nominated
2000 Kids' Choice Awards Favorite Movie Won
2000 Kids' Choice Awards Favourite Movie Actor - Adam Sandler Won
2000 MTV Movie + TV Awards Best Comedic Performance - Adam Sandler Won
2000 MTV Movie + TV Awards Best Male Performance - Adam Sandler Nominated
2000 MTV Movie + TV Awards Best On-Screen Duo - Adam Sandler, Cole Sprouse, Dylan Sprouse Nominated
2000 People's Choice Awards Favorite Comedy Motion Picture Won
1999 Teen Choice Awards Film - Movie of the Summer Won
2000 Young Artist Awards Best Performance in a Feature Film - Young Actor Age Ten or Under: Cole Sprouse & Dylan Sprouse Nominated
1999 YoungStar Awards Best Performance by a Young Actor in a Comedy Film: Cole Sprouse & Dylan Sprouse Nominated


The film won a BMI Film Music Award.[citation needed] The soundtrack included the following:

Track listing
  1. "Sweet Child o' Mine" by Sheryl Crow (Guns N' Roses cover)
  2. "When I Grow Up" by Garbage
  3. "Peace Out" by Adam Sandler (a sound clip from a scene in the movie)
  4. "Just Like This" by Limp Bizkit
  5. "Only Love Can Break Your Heart" by Everlast (a Neil Young cover)
  6. "Ga Ga" by Melanie C
  7. "What Is Life" by George Harrison, covered in movie by Shawn Mullins
  8. "The Kiss" by Adam Sandler (a sound clip from a scene in the movie)
  9. "Instant Pleasure" by Rufus Wainwright
  10. "Ooh La La" by The Wiseguys
  11. "Sid" by Adam Sandler (a sound clip from a scene in the movie)
  12. "If I Can't Have You" by Yvonne Elliman
  13. "Smelly Kid" by Adam Sandler (a sound clip from a scene in the movie)
  14. "Passin' Me By" by The Pharcyde (a sound clip from a scene in the movie)
  15. "Rush" by Big Audio Dynamite
  16. "Hooters" by Allen Covert (a sound clip from a scene in the movie)
  17. "Babe" by Styx
  18. "Overtime" by Adam Sandler (a sound clip from a scene in the movie)
  19. "The Kangaroo Song" by Tim Herlihy (made specifically for the movie)
  20. "The Best of Times" by Styx (only a portion of the song)
Other songs used in the film
Songs from the theatrical trailer not in the film


  1. ^ a b c "Big Daddy (1999) - Box Office Mojo". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on 21 February 2010. Retrieved 2010-03-13. 
  2. ^ a b "Big Daddy reviews at". Metacritic. Retrieved 2010-03-13. 
  3. ^ "Adam Sandler Movie Box Office Results". Retrieved 2018-02-11. 
  4. ^ "Big Daddy Movie Reviews". Rotten Tomatoes. Archived from the original on 22 March 2010. Retrieved 2010-03-13. 

External links[edit]