Big Daddy (film)

Infobox Film
name=Big Daddy

director=Dennis Dugan
writer=Steve Franks
Tim Herlihy
Adam Sandler
producer=Joseph M. Caracciolo
Allen Covert
Michelle Holdsworth
Adam Sandler
Robert Simonds
Jack Giarraputo
Alex Siskin
starring=Adam Sandler
Joey Lauren Adams
Jon Stewart
Rob Schneider
Dylan Sprouse
Cole Sprouse
Leslie Mann
Steve Buscemi
Peter Dante
Josh Mostel
music=Teddy Castellucci
distributor=Columbia Pictures
released=June 25, 1999
runtime=93 min.

"Big Daddy" is a 1999 American comedy film directed by Dennis Dugan and starring Adam Sandler.


Sonny Koufax (Sandler) is a carefree, unmotivated slob, who has declined to take to adult responsibilities. He has earned a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree, but is depicted, inexplicably, as never even so much as having attempted the bar exam, nor has he pursued a career based upon, and in benefit of, Sonny's attainment of the degree (although Sonny is depicted as being employed, on a part time basis only, as a toll booth collector). His best friend is a delivery guy (Rob Schneider).

The screenplay shows Sonny's friends, all former schoolmates, are "moving ahead" in their lives. One has become engaged to be married--and two of his male friends from school, in contrast to their conduct in Sonny's experience while at school, are now revealed to be homosexual and in a committed domestic partnership. Sonny's girlfriend (Kristy Swanson), disgusted and perplexed at Sonny's contrasting and inconsistent conduct, and exasperated with Sonny, ends her romantic relationship with Sonny.

Sonny quickly becomes occupied with a new series of events. Sonny's roommate, Kevin, is revealed as having fathered an illegitimate son, whose name is Julian. Julian is abandoned at Sonny and Kevin's apartment, with a written explanation that Julian's mother is now declining to care further for Julian. Kevin, having departed for China to conduct some type of business or other commercial activity, remains ambivalent as regards the situation--and Sonny, in caring for Julian, soon discovers a new purpose in his life.


For the last ten years Sonny has been living in his apartment in New York with his roommate, while working one day a week as a toll booth attendant and seeing his girlfriend, Vanessa (Kristy Swanson). Tired of Sonny's aimless existence, Vanessa tells Sonny she is going to Syracuse to visit her mother as they both need time to think, also presenting the ultimatum that Sonny get a "real job".

Kevin, Sonny's roommate, is going to China on a business trip and a party is held in his honor, which Sonny promptly ruins, angering Kevin's fiance, who does not care for Sonny's presence.

The next day, Sonny finds himself in charge of a 5-year-old child, who was moved by his dying mother from Buffalo to be with his father, Sonny's roommate, Kevin. Sonny contacts his roommate to inform him of the news, and Sonny agrees to handle the situation, caring for the child, until Kevin returns.

Sonny gets to know the boy, Julian (Dylan and Cole Sprouse). Sonny calls Arthur Brooks, the social worker assigned to handle the placement of custody of Julian. He tells Arthur Brooks he's Kevin Geraghty and informs him that he will keep Julian. The social worker wishes good luck to him, believing he has placed Julian with his true father.

Later they get to Vanessa's apartment, but she has found a much older man and breaks up with Sonny. Sonny finds he can not handle Julian on his own, and he contacts Social Services to inform the social worker, Arthur Brooks (Josh Mostel) that he believes he is unable to raise Julian. Mr. Brooks makes clear to Sonny that Julian will be placed in an orphanage until and unless they can find a foster family for him. Sonny, dissatisfied with such a fate for Julian, reverses himself and decides to continue to care for Julian, ostensibly until a foster family can be found.

Sonny wants to be a good "father" to Julian. But, in traditional irresponsible-adult style, he tells Julian that he can do whatever he wants. For example, when Julian (or, as he named himself, Frankenstein) wets the bed, Sonny simply uses newspaper to soak up the mess. Sonny drops Julian off at school. Later he gets a call from Social Services informing him that they've found a family for Julian. However, Sonny doesn't want to give up Julian, so he ignores the calls from Social Services.

One night Sonny and Layla (Kevin's fiance's sister) are on a date, leaving Sonny's buddies to watch over Julian and the apartment. Arthur Brooks, the social worker, arrives to scrutinize Julian's living situation, which includes looking for Kevin Geraghty, the putative father. Tommy informs him that Kevin is in China. But when Arthur Brooks introduces himself, Phil comes up and "corrects" Tommy by saying "Chinatown". Arthur informs them he's been trying to contact Kevin Geraghty (Sonny) and cannot get through, which has been concerning him. He asks them to call him and leaves.

In the meantime, Social Services has finally caught up with Sonny's tricks and discovered his true identity. Arthur Brooks arrives at Sonny's apartment to take Julian away. Sonny tells Arthur Brooks that he was going to give him a call, but then realizes Mr. Brooks called him Mr. Koufax, his real name, and that he has been caught fraudulently presenting himself as Kevin Geraghty in order to keep custody of Julian. Sonny tries to explain that the Kevin Geraghty asked him to take care of the situation, but Brooks does not accept his explanation, and warns Sonny to surrender Julian or face arrest by two police officers waiting downstairs. Faced with the threat of being arrested, he agrees to cooperate after being given the chance to say good bye to Julian, who is devastated, believing Sonny is giving him up intentionally. Sonny tries to explain otherwise before Julian is led away by Brooks.

Sonny asks Layla to help him with the case, but she tells him that she is unable to do so because she has other work planned and that this explains her reasons for not wanting a relationship: she doesn't want to have to make changes to her lifestyle.

Sonny goes to court to try to obtain "de jure" custody of Julian. Surprisingly, Layla does show up at court and admits she has feelings for Sonny and she understands that helping someone you care for is worth it. Sonny's friends all testify in favor of him. However, the court declares that it does not make sense that only Sonny's friends are testifying, so Sonny calls Kevin's fiancee, whom he despises, to the stand. She states openly that she dislikes Sonny but does agree that he is a good father. Julian is then called to the stand, and expresses his desire to be cared for by Sonny and talks of all the adventures they had together.

Finally, Sonny calls himself to the stand, and asks his father to examine him. His father had previously expressed his disapproval of Sonny's situation, and states that he will be honest and straight up during the examination. Sonny tells the full truth under his dad's questioning, about not only the case itself but about past incidents where he demonstrated irresponsibility. Sonny's dad states that it would be absurd to grant custody to Sonny.

However, Sonny then takes his father's hand, and says that he understands love for others. He says that he understands his father's harshness to be love, because when people love each other, they are scared for safety and well being. This has a profound effect, and everyone are calling their parents on their cell phones just to say "I love you." Sonny's dad ultimately declares that Sonny would indeed be a good father and that he should be granted custody.

The judge declines to grant custody to Sonny, and orders his arrest on criminal fraud charges, but Kevin announces that he does not want to charges pressed against Sonny, and the charges are dropped. Kevin admits to his fiancee that he indeed most likely did father the child with a girl at a Hooters before they met (Kevin realizes this during Julian's testimony, when Julian testifies that he was born in Toronto--where, ostensibly, to Kevin's knowledge and recollection, the conception logically may have taken place--and of course, through parental testing the biological relationship could be confirmed as a matter of law).

About a year later, Sonny has finally completed the bar exam successfully and has become an admitted attorney. Redeemed, Sonny is invited by his friends to Hooters on his birthday and is thrown a surprise party, where he jokes with Corrine about "wasting the good surprise on him again," reminiscent of the beginning of the movie.

We see that while Julian happily calls Corrine "Mommy", he has remained very close to Sonny too. Sonny is also now on good terms with Corrine and is married to Layla with a baby of their own. The closing scene is of Sonny discovering Vanessa working as a waitress at Hooters while Sid (the boyfriend she left Sonny for) is a fry cook.


Sony products were depicted in Sonny's apartment. Perhaps as a pun on Sonny, or the character's name was chosen as a pun on the product brand. coincidentally, Sony's real life etymology comes from the word sunny.



The film won a BMI Film Music Award. The soundtrack included the following:
*"Do Wah Ditty" by Zapp and Roger (not in the movie itself, but in the advtrailer)
*"Dancing In The Moonlight" by Toploader
*"Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" (the title track from a 1983 album by Eurythmics)
*"Growin' Up" (a song from the first album by Bruce Springsteen)
*"Instant Pleasure" by Rufus Wainwright
*"Sweet Child O' Mine" a re-recorded version taken from a live version played by Guns N' Roses mixed with a recording with the new Guns N' Roses
*"When I Grow Up" by Garbage
*"If I Can't Have You" by Yvonne Elliman
*"Jump" by Van Halen background music on the answering machine message in Sonny's apartment
*"Growin' Up" by Bruce Springsteen

From the official soundtrack:

*"Sweet Child O' Mine" by Sheryl Crow (a Guns N' Roses cover)
*"When I Grow Up" by Garbage
*"Peace Out" by Adam Sandler (a sound clip from a scene in the movie)
*"Just Like This" by Limp Bizkit
*"Only Love Can Break Your Heart" by Everlast
*"Ga Ga" by Melanie C
*"What Is Life" by George Harrison, covered in movie by Shawn Mullins
*"The Kiss" by Adam Sandler (a sound clip from a scene in the movie)
*"Instant Pleasure" by Rufus Wainwright
*"Ooh La La" by Wise Guys
*"Sid" by Adam Sandler (a sound clip from a scene in the movie)
*"If I Can't Have You" by Yvonne Elliman
*"Smelly Kid" by Adam Sandler (a sound clip from a scene in the movie)
*"Passing Me By" by The Pharcyde
*"Rush" by Big Audio Dynamite
*"Hooters" by Allen Covert (a sound clip from a scene in the movie)
*"Babe" by Styx
*"Overtime" by Adam Sandler (a sound clip from a scene in the movie)
*"The Kangaroo Song" by Tim Herlihy (made specifically for the movie)


External links

*imdb title|0142342

Box Office Leaders USA
before = Tarzan
date = June 27
year = 1999
after = Wild Wild West

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