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The Movie Adam Sandler Doesn’t Want You to See

August 1, 2012

When That’s My Boy! recently polluted theaters, one review damned it with the faintest of praise: “not Adam Sandler’s worst but still terrible.” Well, that critic must’ve been among the unlucky few who’ve seen Going Overboard, the comic’s first—and yes, worst—movie, now available for a $1.99 rental via Amazon’s Instant Video service. Be warned: It’s a ripoff at any price. Or under any title: It’s also been released as Adam Sandler’s Love Boat, Babes Ahoy and The Unsinkable Schecky Moskowitz.

Made in 1989—a year before his SNL debut—when Sandler’s only credit was a recurring role as Theo’s pal Smitty on The Cosby Showthe sub-amateurish farce casts the then-23-year-old as the aforementioned Moskowitz, a cruise-ship waiter and aspiring standup. Sandler awkwardly addresses the camera, Ferris Bueller-style, and admits this is a “no-budget movie” that was only made because the filmmakers had access to a luxury liner carrying Miss USA contenders. Interviews with the would-be beauty queens are randomly intercut, along with a weird framing device boasting Burt Young as notoriously pineapple-faced Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega, watching a VHS tape of the film and ordering a hit on a contestant. (One can only assume that, like Rocky‘s brother-in-law Paulie, the onetime Oscar nominee was hard up for cash.)

Amazingly, Sandler and Young aren’t the only celebs who’d no doubt like to see their names removed from Going Overboard‘s credits. Nearly a decade before setting sail on the Titanic, Billy Zane contributes a bizarro cameo as Neptune, king of the seas, while a pre-Sling Blade Billy Bob Thornton speaks for the audience as “Dave the Heckler,” snarling at Sandler: “Listen, butthole, why don’t you quit trying to be funny because all you’re doing is pissing me off!” And if anyone’s wondering whether actor-director Peter Berg has ever made a movie that tanked worse than Battleship, here’s your answer. Oh, and let us not forget Milton Berle’s blessedly uncredited appearance as himself, offering Sandler such allegedly can’t-miss zingers as “I knew a girl whose boobs were so small, she had to carry her nipples in her pocket.” (Director Valerie Breiman graciously provides a laugh track for Berle’s scene, perhaps aware no actual human beings would ever chuckle at these jokes.)

So the next time you channel-surf past Just Go With It or Jack & Jill, just know that Sandler reached his nadir much earlier in his career. Then again, matters could still get worse: Hotel Transylvania and Grown-Ups 2 are coming soon.

What’s Adam Sandler’s worst movie? Maybe Eight Crazy Nights, Little Nicky or I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry? Speak now or forever hold your peace!

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