ESPN.com columnist Bill Simmons recently wrote how he thought Jon Heder was at least six years away from starring in a movie with David Spade and Rob Schneider. A hair under two years seems about right to me. Napoleon Dynamite, Heder’s big break, is amusing when you catch it playing remote roulette, so you can watch an absurd bit or two at a time, instead of as one, long shtick-ridden mess. With that said, Heder, with his impatient drawl and goofy charm, is a living, breathing recurring character.
So he’s perfect a fit for The Benchwarmers, the latest Saturday Night Live alumni comedy from Happy Gilmore, Adam Sandler’s production company. Heder does his spaz routine, gets his laughs, and moves on. The same success applies for Schneider and Spade, two guys who should never shoulder a whole movie unless a studio exec has lost a bet. In The Benchwarmers, Schneider (never the world’s funniest actor) plays it straight, and Spade’s cutting remarks come at amusing intervals. The result is a movie with a nice number of laughs and an encouraging message.
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