While promoting Uncut Gems, Adam Sandler told Howard Stern that he was “going to f*cking come back and do one again that is so bad on purpose just to make you all pay” if he didn’t get an Oscar nomination for his performance in the anxious Safdie brothers-directed film. Guess what? Sandler wasn’t nominated (he not only should have been nominated; he should have won), and he came back with… a decent movie, actually.
Hubie Halloween is one of Sandler’s better Netflix comedies. That may sound like half-hearted praise, but it’s not; I’m the one person who thinks The Week Of and Sandy Wexler are good. Hubie is Sandler in reflective mode, casting himself (someone whose broad comedies are usually met with critical scorn) as Hubie Dubois, who’s bullied for wanting to bring joy into the world and help others. But mostly, it’s an excuse for Sandler to have a goofy voice, make fart jokes, and reference his old movies. He has layers.
About those callbacks: Hubie Halloween begins with an obvious Happy Gilmore homage, with Ben Stiller reprising his role as retirement community-turned-psychiatric hospital employee Hal in the golf comedy. Hubie also brings back the O’Doyle family (“O’DOYLE RULES”) from Billy Madison and the pee-stained sheet from The Waterboy.
If recognizing Sandler references is cool, consider these people Miles Davis.
Five minutes into @AdamSandler ‘s Hubie Halloween and there have already been Waterboy, Billie Madison, and Happy Gilmore references. I am here for it. O’Doyle rules!
— Nicci (@nixxi583) October 7, 2020
Hubie Halloween establishing a Happy Gilmore connected universe right off the bat I love it
— Maxwell Bechtoldt (@CavsMax13) October 8, 2020
HUBIE HALLOWEEN bringing back minor hilarious characters from Happy Gilmore and Billy Madison is the kind of lunacy I needed today.
— Dan Kinsley (@TheWickerDan) October 7, 2020
10 minutes into Hubie Halloween & lost count of the Adam Sandler throwbacks.. From a kid shouting o'doyle rules to a piss stained bed sheet hanging on the line. pic.twitter.com/VsUQ7IXfd9
— Adam Downey (@Downeyuk) October 7, 2020
This probably gets my critic card revoked but HUBIE HALLOWEEN was funny, touching, and an amazingly meta callback to HAPPY GILMORE and BILLY MADISON. Hard recommend!
— Sonny Bunch (@SonnyBunch) October 8, 2020
BEN STILLER REPRISING HIS ROLE AS THE NURSE FROM HAPPY GILMORE IN HUBIE HALLOWEEN HAS ME DEAD
— sadie (@sadiestagram) October 8, 2020
Watching Hubie Halloween for some reason and so far the best thing about it is Ben Stiller returning as the nurse from Happy Gilmore. pic.twitter.com/H9wdjH3zzu
— Ali Frankenberry’s Monster Mattingly (@ThatSpookyAli) October 8, 2020
My absolute favorite thing about Adam Sandler films is that he always includes his friends. Also, Hubie Halloween within the 1st 7 minutes had a character from Happy Gilmore and another O’Doyle who believes he rules
— Amanda (@abcrabtree3) October 8, 2020
Also, Steve Buscemi plays a werewolf, making it part of the Hotel Transylvania Cinematic Universe. You should watch Hubie Halloween.