No matter how short Rob Schneider movies are, there is nothing more excruciating than having to sit through one. The fact that he is able to keep making films shows us that having Adam Sandler as your friend is a good thing. If it weren’t for him producing everything Schneider decided to do, perhaps we as an audience wouldn’t be subjected to this torture every few months. Directed by Dennis Dugan (Happy Gilmore) and co-written by Nick Swardson and Allen Covert (the screenwriting masterminds behind Grandma’s Boy), The Benchwarmers is another disastrous comedy aimed at second-graders and anyone else who thinks farts are still funny.
A regular little league team picks on a group of nerdy kids practicing on a baseball field because their skills are too elementary. A trio of adult nerds, consisting of Gus (Schneider), Richie (Spade) and Clark (Heder), stick up for the group and challenge a team to a game for rights to the field. Richie and Clark have zero experience with baseball but Gus is confident enough to take them on anyway. Even though, there are only three of them and the team has nine players. When the game ends, word travels around to other little league teams about this group of middle-aged losers and soon a competition hosted by a wealthy geek has every team in the region challenging the Benchwarmers for the ultimate prize – a brand new ballpark for the city with the winning team.
The plot is nothing you haven’t seen before in a thousand other, better films like the original Bad News Bears. Those characters weren’t built on simple stereotypes like the kids in this film. That film was also genuinely funny. I lost count of how many fart jokes there were or how many male anatomy collisions with various objects there were. One thing I did notice about each of them was that none of them were funny in their execution or their delivery.
The acting is just as stale. David Spade seems to continue to think that if you wear a wig or a moustache (see also Joe Dirt), people will laugh at you. Unfortunately he spends less time reading screenplays than he does working in the wardrobe department. Jon Heder’s character is just another rehash of his Napoleon Dynamite performance but without the freshness or quirkiness of the earlier part.
The Happy Madison School of Comedy has a set curriculum that is never going to change. Farts are funny, farting on a kid and calling it “beef stew” is real funny, old people saying random things are funny, balls colliding with testicles should cause laughter of epic proportions and no matter how much of a degenerate you are, your girlfriend is sure to be hot. A small side plot element involves Gus and his wife trying to start a family. I guess the message somewhere in this film is that no matter what you look like or what you’re into, the girl of your dreams can be yours. I guess we can find some solace in that. Too bad it’s hidden in such an idiotic piece of filmmaking.