Adam Sandler Once Shared What He Felt About Critics Hating His Movies

Comedian Adam Sandler has starred in a variety of successful films over the years. But although some of his films may have been financially lucrative, his comedy features have sometimes failed to win over critics.

How Adam Sandler felt about getting it good from critics

Adam Sandler at the 'Hustle' screening.
Adam Sandler | Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

Sandler is well aware of the reviews that his comedy films have gotten in the past. Some of the box-office success of his films indicate that moviegoers may enjoy his work for the most part. But professional critics often didn’t share the same enthusiasm for Sandler’s stories.

“I mean I always see the words ‘sophomoric,’ ‘juvenile,’ ‘moronic,’ ‘useless,’ ‘hate,’ ‘unwatchable,’” Sandler once said in an interview with The Harvard Crimson.

But at the time, Sandler didn’t invest too much interest in the opinion of critics. At least not later on in his career. The comedian felt critics weren’t the type of people he was making his films for.

“In the beginning I did, when I did Billy Madison, but now I realize I didn’t get into this business to have a critic like me. I got into it to get people to laugh. As a kid, I went to the movies to laugh my ass off, to hang out with my friends, to go on a date,” he said.

Adam Sandler once shared the advice his father gave him for handling negative reviews

Even back before Sandler became a Hollywood superstar, he had trouble dealing with negative criticism. When he performed stand-up in comedy clubs, his bit didn’t always go over well with the audience. At times, the reaction from the crowd would get under his skin. So Sandler turned to his father for advice on how to deal with a tough crowd.

“I recall one time that something didn’t go right for me,” Sandler said in an interview with AARP. “I bombed onstage or didn’t get an audition. I was upset and probably embarrassed. And he said, ‘Adam, you can’t always be happy. People aren’t always going to like you. You’re going to fail.’ I said, ‘But I just want to be happy, man. I don’t want all that other crap.’ He said, ‘You won’t actually know you’re happy if you don’t feel that other stuff.'”

It was life advice that Sandler would still rely on even after his monumental success in the film industry.

Adam Sandler stopped reading critic reviews after the reaction to ‘Billy Madison’


Adam Sandler Once Predicted Drew Barrymore Would ‘Make People Happy Every Day’: ‘You Are Magic’

Billy Madison was a comedy film starring Sandler as the titular character. The movie saw Sandler as the spoiled and underachieving son of a hotel owner disappointed with his son’s antics. To rectify Sandler’s behavior, the hotel owner gives Sandler the task of retaking every class he’s ever had in school.

Billy Madison was one of many Sandler movies that didn’t do well with critics.

“When Billy Madison came out, me and my friend who wrote it, we were just like, ‘Oh yeah, they’re going to write about this in New York,'” Sandler once told Hustle (via Entertainment Weekly). “We grew up reading the papers, we were going to NYU. And then we read the first one and we were like, ‘Oh my god, what happened? They hate us.’ And then we were like, ‘It must have been this paper,’ but then 90% of the papers are going, ‘This is garbage.'”

Because of the brutality of the reviews, Sandler decided not to read anymore reviews of his work. Although he’d still hear about what critics thought of his movies through third parties.

“People would call us up, ‘Can you believe they said this about you?’ I’d be like, ‘I didn’t read it, man….’ But everything has turned out excellent. And it’s OK, I get it. Critics aren’t going to connect with certain stuff and what they want to see. I understand that it’s not clicking with them,” he said.