I’ll admit, I chose to watch The Waterboy this Sunday because I was in a rush to get to an international flight and needed an easily digestible, 90-minute comedy to watch quickly and digest. The Waterboy was the first of the films I noticed on Netflix, and voila, here we are!
Now when I first watched The Waterboy, I didn’t really enjoy it. I felt it was the lesser of the Adam Sandler movies, and frankly just a bit obnoxious. Even moreso than say Billy Madison, but at least that’s obnoxious in a fun way. The Waterboy though set the precedent for the Adam Sandler movies we know and loathe today, a one-note premise stretched far too long, simply based on a caricature rather than an actual character. I wasn’t excited to watch again but felt it my duty.
Still, there’s an undeniable charm to The Waterboy, although it isn’t too funny itself. Throw away the silly accents and dumbass “You Can Do It!” one liners from Rob Schneider, and you’ve actually got a somewhat endearing character in Bobby Bouscher (pronounced booo-shay). We want to look after him like a dumb, annoying dog that’s still kind of cute, a pet we wouldn’t ideally choose to own, but if someone else ever fucked with him, we’d reign hell down on them. He’s a one-note character, but a lovable one-note character.
Henry Winkler is pretty stellar as the bamboozled coach of the lesser Louisiana football team, giving an early hint of the tomfoolery and gullibility we’d see Winkler show off in Arrested Development not too long later. Kathy Bates is the only person who actually comes across as, well, a person, with actual motivations aside from just going with the flow of the bayou.
There’s very few jokes in this movie, it’s just more half-assed insults tossed at the water boy and then a subsequent tackling from his behalf. But it’s in-between those moments where we actually watch him grow does the movie keep our entertainment thirst somewhat hydrated.