Sunday, December 11, 2011

Divorce and Custody Movie Review - Big Daddy

Today I review Big Daddy from my collection of divorce, child custody and child support related movies.

Big Daddy [1999] - Adam Sandler plays Sonny, a man age thirty-two who has no direction in life and was recently dumped by his girlfriend. While at the apartment that he shares with his roommate Kevin a child is dropped off. The boy, Julian, who is age 5 was accompanied by a note from his mother that says she is unable to take care of him and that Kevin is the child's father. But, Kevin is away on business and it is up to Sonny to figure out what to do.

The note instructs Kevin to deliver the child to social services if he will not take responsibility for him. As it is Columbus Day, social services is closed so it is left to Sonny to care for the boy. He contacts social services but then decides to keep the boy as a way to impress and improve his status with the girlfriend who recently ditched him. His friends advise against it but Sonny is not dissuaded. He calls social services and says he has decided to keep the child.

An assortment of comedic situations join moments of relationship building between Sonny and Julian. The legal procedures that take place in this film do not follow with real life such as Sonny getting to keep the child temporarily although paternity has not been established nor has an adoption proceeding. Eventually social services learns that Sonny has been pretending to be his brother and demands to take custody of the child. Sonny's decides to fight for custody of Julian. His father comes from out-of-state to assist in the custody fight that is peppered to testimonials and pleas from Sonny and a usual cast of misfits while courtroom procedures are ignored.

The film contains numerous examples of positive parenting techniques as Sonny lavishes the boy with attention and guidance while providing him with freedoms and responsibilities. However, the film suffers from lack of a plausible storyline, unrealistic or contrived situations and the aforementioned legal deficiencies. Sandler and his usual cast deliver an entertaining and uplifting film but don't rely upon it to help model your behaviour for a custody battle or prepare you for the courtroom process.

If there is a movie that you would like reviewed please send a request to me. The complete list of movies I have reviewed may be viewed here.

If you need assistance with parenting time, custody or support issues please visit my website and contact my scheduler to make an appointment to meet with me.

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More information about child custody rights and procedures may be found on the Indiana Custodial Rights Advocates website.

©2011 Stuart Showalter, LLC. Permission is granted to all non-commercial entities to reproduce this article in it's entirety with credit given.

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