January 29, 2023

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Why Adam Sandler Doesn’t Read Movie Reviews: ‘It’s So Hard’

Adam Sandler is a popular comedian today, but when he first broke out of the Saturday Night Live bubble with Billy Madison, the first film he co-wrote, he didn’t get a particularly warm reception from critics. Since then, the actor says he hasn’t read a review for any of his films.

“When I was 17 and dealing with it, I didn’t think about criticism … I didn’t even realize something like this was coming. I just thought you make movies, people watch it,” Sandler said in a recent conversation for Netflix (via EW). “When Billy Madison came out, me and my friend who wrote it, we were like, ‘Oh yeah, they’re going to write about it in New York!’ We grew up reading the papers, we went to NYU. And then we read the first one and we were like, ‘Oh my god, what happened? They hate us.’”

Sandler wrote Billy Madison in 1995 about a spoiled 27-year-old who has to go back to school with Tim Herlihy and pass every class without the help of his wealthy father. When the first bad reviews for the film came out, the duo hoped it was a coincidence, “but then 90 percent of the papers say, ‘That’s garbage,'” Sandler recalls. He admitted the reaction “pained” because “you know your grandmother reads it.”

That’s when the couple decided, “Maybe we shouldn’t read this stuff because it’s so hard.”

“I say the first two or three, Happy Gilmore, The Wedding Singer, we’d still hear about it,” Sandler added. “People would call us, ‘Can you believe they said that about you?’ I’d say, ‘I haven’t read it, man.’” Of course, his career has been going well, and Sandler says he understands that his sense of humor isn’t for everyone. “Critics aren’t going to get comfortable with certain things and what they want to see,” he said. “I understand that it doesn’t click with them.”

Sandler’s last project was the basketball film Hustle. He is currently in the middle of a standup tour and tickets are available now through Ticketmaster.

Check out our ranking of Sandler’s best film roles again.