I would like to argue that The Waterboy with Adam Sandler is a must-watch movie for any fan of American football. Whether it’s the best or not is up to opinion. In my opinion, it is the best. Why so? Let’s begin the review!
The Waterboy is not only a great sports movie showing realistic football plays and strategies, it’s a great story, too. It contains the human archetype, a theme all great stories must have. The struggle of a person rising up against the challenges before him to find success show clearly here. And in this case the challenges are quite heavy, as the character played by Adam Sandler, Bobby Boucher, is mentally handicapped and bullied by almost everyone he sees. If you don’t want any spoilers, stop reading here. Just take my word that this is the movie you should watch next if you haven’t already seen it.
As a waterboy Bobby doesn’t have much respect by the true players of the team. After becoming fired, he must seek the role of waterboy elsewhere. Another one of his challenges is getting past the strict control of his mother who wishes for him to quit his passion of being a waterboy. When he eventually finds a new team to work for, they, too, bully him, until he uses his rage to make a divine tackle and the coach realizes this troubled 31-year-old “boy” could very well be his ticket to winning the tournament.
Bobby is asked to use his negative memories of being bullied as his fuel for tackling, and this allows him to perform insanely well. Now that the waterboy is playing football, he must keep this secret from his controlling mother. Before I turn this into nothing more than a summary, let me explain why this story is so great.
The concept of an underdog surprising the masses unexpectedly is so satisfying to watch on screen. Indeed, this theme is common throughout all great classic stories from antiquity, as the suffering becomes the hero through his pain to succeed in ways no one expected. Pain can easily be seen as something no one should have. But stories like this shed light on the silver lining of pain, as it can be used as fuel to accomplish things most people can’t. In other words the more pain you have the more fuel you have. Kind of like a poor man wanting to leave the ghetto, our waterboy, poor in friendship and purpose, has a much greater desire to work towards improving his life than the common man.
When you watch this film keep an eye out for this hidden theme. It’s so inspirational. I nearly started crying when I saw the happiness on Bobby’s face after accomplishing his dream. I give this movie a 10 out of 10!