They grow up so fast.
It seems only yesterday Adam Sandler was teaching Cole Sprouse to pee on the side of buildings in 1999’s Big Daddy, in which the Riverdale star, at age 6, played a young child Sandler’s character adopts. (Sprouse shared the role with his twin brother, Dylan.) Two decades later, the pair had a father-son reunion at the Los Angeles premiere of Sandler’s Uncut Gems on Wednesday.
Sandler is receiving substantial Oscar buzz for his performance in the darkly comic thriller, which more than one critic has called his best ever. The former Saturday Night Live star plays Howard Ratner, a jeweler whose wheeling, dealing, and gambling sinks him ever deeper into a web of debts he can’t seem to escape. “Sandler is revelatory in the role,” EW’s Darren Franich wrote in his review. “He exudes the self-lacerating melancholy familiar from his acclaimed dramatic work in Punch-Drunk Love and The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected). He’s also indulging all his go-big comedic instincts, somehow, letting you see how Howard’s huckster gladhanding is a shield against certain doom.”
Big Daddy, on the other hand, is classically Sandler material, telling the tale of Sonny (Sandler), a slacker who tries to impress his girlfriend by adopting a kid named Julian (the Sprouses). He’s left to look after the child alone after his girlfriend dumps him, leading to a manically comedic yet ultimately quite heartwarming adventure. The film was a massive box office success, coming at the height of Sandler’s stardom in the 1990s after such hits as Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore.
Uncut Gems opens in select theaters Friday, with a nationwide release to follow on Dec. 25.